In New Orleans, Ruby lived in a small apartment where she shared a bedroom with her sister and two younger brothers. Her father worked at a gas station and her mother worked night jobs to help make ends meet. Ruby had fun playing with her friends in New Orleans. They played softball, jumped rope, and climbed trees.
Ruby went to kindergarten at an all-black school. The schools in New Orleans at that time were segregated. This meant that black students went to different schools than white students. Ruby’s school was a long walk from her home, but she did not mind. She liked her teacher Mrs King and enjoyed kindergarten.
One day, Ruby was asked to take a test. She did not know this at the time, but the test was supposed to determine which black students would be allowed to attend a white school. Ruby was a very bright girl and aced the test. After that, her parents were told that she could attend the local white school and begin the integration of black students with white students.
On November 14, 1960, Ruby attended her first day at the all-white William Frantz School near her home. It was only five blocks away.