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Rockwell, Roosevelt & The Four Freedoms

The artworks shown

"The Problem We All Live With" is one of Rockwell’s best-known paintings.

In it, we see a little African-American girl in a white dress going to school, escorted by federal marshals whose faces cannot be seen, in order to emphasize the face of the girl. This little girl is none other than Ruby Bridges, the first African American child to integrate an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960. This painting transformed the classic image of Rockwell’s works. Here, the artist made a choice to depict the dramatic reality of the racism that characterized part of American society at the time.

This painting marked a real turning point in the career of the artist, who was then 70 years old. From that time on, he wanted to use his art for the cause of justice.

"That day, being in the car when I turned the corner, I just assumed that I was in the middle of a parade. When I think about it today, that was the innocence of a child. I think that protected me, not knowing." Ruby Bridges Hall

© Barak Obama & Ruby Bridges Hall. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza. All rights reserved.