Abon Bridges (1931 - 1978)

A photo of Abon Bridges
Abon Bridges
1931 - 1978
January 20, 1931
Tylertown, Walthall County, Mississippi, 39667, United States
February 22, 1978
New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana, United States
Last Known Residence
New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana United States
Abon Bridges of New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana United States was born on January 20, 1931 in Tylertown, Walthall County, Mississippi, and died at age 47 years old on February 22, 1978 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. Abon Bridges was buried at Cremated.
Updated: February 27, 2023
Biography ID: 62443683

Abon Bridges' Biography

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About Abon


Abon's parents were Ezell Bridges (1919 - 1998) and Beatrice Cowart (born 1912). He had a sister Lela Mae Bridges (1933 - 2006).

According to his Find A Grave obituary, Abon married Lucille Commodore (1934 - 2020) in 1953 and they separated in the late 1960s. They had 8 children including Ruby, Malcolm, Jonah, Milton, and Michelle.

When they lived in Mississippi, Abon and Lucille were sharecroppers. When they moved to New Orleans, Abon became a gas station attendant.

According to Ruby's obituary, "she became the first Black student at her New Orleans elementary school.

Bridges went on to become an icon of the civil rights movement. New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell said Ruby's father, Abon Bridges, was reluctant to send his daughter to the all-white William Frantz Elementary School as a first grader in 1960, at the request of the NAACP. But his wife insisted, wanting their daughter to have the education she never did."

The family later moved to New Orleans in search of better work and educational opportunities. An article about the turmoil of the times and the Bridges' family can be found at Ruby Bridges First Day of School Changed History
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Abon Bridges
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Abon Bridges
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New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana United States
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January 20, 1931
Tylertown, Walthall County, Mississippi 39667, United States
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US citizen - born in Mississippi


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Abon Bridges was a military veteran and worked as a sharecropper and later on as a gas station attendant. There is an article in The Daily Iberian on Friday December 9th 1960 that describes the racist treatment against Abon and his family (and other families) regarding his daughter as the very first African American child to attend the all-white public William Frantz Elementary Schoolhis: "The first Frantz father to lose his job was Abon Bridges, the father of Ruby Nell, the six-year-old Negro whose enrollment touched off the Frantz furor...Bridges' white boss fired him from his job at a filling station. He has since found a new job at a gas station owned by a Negro, it was reported"

Personal Life

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Military Service

U.S. Korean War Casualties 1950-1957 Name: Abon Bridges Race: Negro (Black) Home State: Mississippi Casualty Date: 16 June 1952 Casualty Country: North Korea Sector Casualty Type: Returned to Duty (FECOM) Branch: Infantry Component: AUS - 21 Months Rank/Pay Grade: Private E-2 Previous Detail: Wounded in action by missile, hospitalized Disposed Date: 26 June 1952 Disposed Place: North Korea Organization: In Div - 45th Element Sequence: Cv Div Cav Regt Inf Unit #: 179 Service Occupation: Light Weapons Infantryman He earned a Purple Heart in Korea. According to the Clarion-Ledger on Monday June 30th 1952 it says: "Private Abon Bridges, son of Mr. and Mrs. June Bridges, Rt. 5, Box 11, Tylertown." was wounded in action.
February 22, 1978
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New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana United States
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The below was generated. Please share Abon's obituary if available, or write one in your own words to preserve his memory.
Abon Bridges passed away at age 47 years old on February 22, 1978 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana, and was buried at Cremated. Abon Bridges of New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana United States was born on January 20, 1931 in Tylertown, Walthall County, Mississippi.

Average Age & Life Expectancy

Abon Bridges lived 24 years shorter than the average Bridges family member when he died at the age of 47.
The average age of a Bridges family member is 71.

Memories: Stories & Photos

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Abon and Ruby Bridges
A photo of Ruby Bridges with her father Abon
Date & Place: Not specified or unknown.
just becuase he is black does't mean he is a nergo that is races
people all ways label us nergo it's like our past and this is our future
Ruby Bridges First Day of School Changed History
By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published November 21, 2019

The footprints of a child are small but on November 14, 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges walked with purpose as she became the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South. This venture leads to the advancement of the Civil Rights Movement and created a pathway for further integration across the southern parts of the U.S.

Before Ruby could crawl, the monumental court ruling in Brown V. Board of Education case (1954) had transpired in favor of ending segregation in public schools. There was resistance along the southern lines. Although the Supreme Court deemed segregation in public schooling was unconstitutional, integration was not being practiced in the South. In 1959, Ruby Bridges started her educational journey at a segregated kindergarten in New Orleans. A year later, the federal court ordered Louisiana to desegregate its public institutions of education. The school district created an entrance exam, to test if African American students were capable to withstand the same level of academics as their White counterparts. Along with five other Black students, Ruby passed the test.

Like all concerned parents, Abon and Lucille Bridges were apprehensive about the act of moving their small child into an all-White school. With the spirit of aggression and lack of understanding in the air, little Ruby’s safety was of utmost importance. Her well-being was the main reason for the hesitance in Abon’s mind. It was Ruby’s mother who favored the move to take place on the premise that her child will receive an education and opportunities that were once denied to her before.

November 14, 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges walked with purpose as she became the
first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South.

The decision was made, but there was plenty of red tape from the school district that yielded the steps towards change. At last, early Monday morning, Ruby, alongside her mother, took her first steps into victory over segregation. This was no ordinary first day of school; they were met with great adversity. Mobs of people chanted and shouted at Ruby and her mother. The only things between the rage of the people and the young girl were barricades clearing the pathway and the cops that escorted her in and surrounded the building. After Ruby entered William Frantz Elementary School, mothers of the other children barged in and ripped their children out from their classes; over 500 children walked out that day. For the first year, it was just a class of one. Ruby alone was taught by the only teacher willing, Mrs. Barbara Henry. Ruby had perfect attendance that year.

Other complications trickled down to her family; Abon lost his job and Lucille was denied purchasing at local grocery stores. Her grandparents were evicted from their farm where they lived for 25 years. Sacrifices through generations did not alter the destined path to integration. Eventually, more African American students enrolled in the same school and Bridges’ legacy still graced the hallways as Ruby’s four nieces also went to William Frantz Elementary. As an adult, Mrs. Bridges continues to live in New Orleans and works in schools around the country, encouraging the youth. She inspired a great work of art by Norman Rockwell, “The problem we all live with,” depicting Ruby as a little girl in mid-stride changing the course of history.

Family Tree & Friends

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Abon's Family Tree

Abon Bridges Abon Bridges


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1931 - 1978 World Events

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In 1931, in the year that Abon Bridges was born, in March, “The Star Spangled Banner” officially became the national anthem by congressional resolution. Other songs had previously been used - among them, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "God Bless America", and "America the Beautiful". There was fierce debate about making "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem - Southerners and veterans organizations supported it, pacifists and educators opposed it.

In 1943, Abon was merely 12 years old when on September 3rd, the Armistice of Cassibile was signed in Sicily. Under the terms of the Armistice, Italy surrendered to the Allied Powers. After the Armistice was made public on September 8th, Germany attacked and occupied Italy. It took 20 months of fighting for the Allies to reach the northern borders of Italy.

In 1953, Abon was 22 years old when actress and comedian Lucille Ball gave birth to Desi Arnaz, Jr on January 19th. On the same day on "I Love Lucy", the fictional Little Ricky was born as well. Baby Desi graced the cover of the first TV Guide magazine with a headline that read ""Lucy's $50,000,000 baby" - because the commercial revenue from his birth was expected to be that amount.

In 1961, at the age of 30 years old, Abon was alive when on August 13th, East Germany began erection of what would become the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin. In one day, they installed barbed wire entanglements and fences (called Barbed Wire Sunday in Germany). On August 17th, the first concrete elements and large blocks were put in place.

In 1978, in the year of Abon Bridges's passing, on July 25th, Louise Brown, the first "test-tube baby", was born at Oldham Hospital in London. Louise was conceived through IVF (in vitro fertilization), a controversial and experimental procedure at the time.

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