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A photo of Abon Bridges

Abon Bridges 1931 - 1978

Abon Bridges of New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana United States was born on January 20, 1931 in Tylertown, Walthall County, Mississippi 39667, United States, and died at age 47 years old on February 22, 1978 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana United States. Abon Bridges was buried at Cremated.
Abon Bridges
New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana United States
January 20, 1931
Tylertown, Walthall County, Mississippi, 39667, United States
February 22, 1978
New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana, United States
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Abon Bridges' History: 1931 - 1978

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  • Introduction

    Abon Bridges's parents were Ezell Bridges (1919 - 1998) and Beatrice Coward (born 1912). Both of his parents were born in Mississippi. He had six siblings: five brothers, including Matthew Bridges, (1935 - 2006) and one sister. Abon also had two half-sisters. Abon Briges married Lucille Commodore. also spelled Commadore, (1934 - 2020) in 1953 and they separated in the late 1960s. They had 8 children including Ruby, Malcolm, Jonah, Milton, and Michelle. A veteran, Abon served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and earned a Purple Heart. When they lived in Mississippi, Abon and his wife, Lucille, were sharecroppers. When they moved to New Orleans, in order to seek better jobs and a better education for their children, Abon became a gas station attendant. Later, his daughter Ruby said that he was a mechanic. According to Ruby's obituary, "she became the first Black student at her New Orleans elementary school." Such a simple sentence that contains so much history: Ruby 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 (the mother) never did." Mother Lucille attended class every day for a year in order to protect Ruby and since all of the Caucasian students in her class were pulled out by their parents and Ruby was the only student remaining. What parents do for their children! See the iconic painting of Ruby's first day of school at Abon Bridges wife and child. Also read a moving article about Ruby's first day of school at Ruby Bridges First Day of School Changed History. The family had 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
  • 01/20
    1931

    Birthday

    January 20, 1931
    Birthdate
    Tylertown, Walthall County, Mississippi 39667, United States
    Birthplace
  • Ethnicity & Family History

    Abon was Black. His paternal line traces back five generations in Mississippi. His maternal line traces back at least two generations in Mississippi.
  • Nationality & Locations

    Born and raised in Mississippi, Abon moved to New Orleans, Louisiana when he was an adult. He died at the age of 47 in New Orleans and was cremated.
  • Military Service

    A corporal in the United States Army, Abon served in the Korean Conflict. His service record is as follows: 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 Abon earned a Purple Heart in Korea. According to the Clarion-Ledger on Monday June 30th 1952: "Private Abon Bridges, son of Mr. and Mrs. June Bridges, Rt. 5, Box 11, Tylertown." was wounded in action.
  • Professional Career

    Abon Bridges was a military veteran and worked as a sharecropper and later on as a gas station attendant. His daughter, Ruby, described him as a mechanic. 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"
  • 02/22
    1978

    Death

    February 22, 1978
    Death date
    Unknown
    Cause of death
    New Orleans, Orleans Parish County, Louisiana United States
    Death location
  • Gravesite & Burial

    mm/dd/yyyy
    Funeral date
    Cremated
    Burial location
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3 Memories, Stories & Photos about Abon

Ruby Bridges First Day of School Changed History
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.

- By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published November 21, 2019
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Abon Bridges wife and child
Abon Bridges wife and child
Caption: In this July 20, 2006 file photo, Lucille Bridges poses next to the original 1964 Norman Rockwell painting, "The Problem We All Live With," showing her daughter Ruby, inside the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Bridges, a Hurricane Katrina evacuee and Houston resident after the storm, looked for the first-time at the Rockwell original capturing her oldest daughter, Ruby, as she was escorted by U.S. marshals into an all-white New Orleans school during integration nearly a half century earlier. New Orleans' mayor announced Tuesday, November 10, 2020, that Lucille Bridges, the mother of civil rights activist Ruby Bridges, has died at the age of 86. (Steve Ueckert/Houston Chronicle via AP, file).
Date & Place: in Texas United States
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Abon and Ruby Bridges
Abon and Ruby Bridges
A photo of Ruby Bridges with her father Abon
Date & Place: Not specified or unknown.
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just becuase he is black does't mean he is a nergo that is races
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people all ways label us nergo it's like our past and this is our future
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Abon Bridges' Family Tree & Friends

Abon Bridges' Family Tree

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Friendships

Abon's Friends

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