What can you see? What can you not see?

The Problem We All Live With is a 1964 painting by Norman Rockwell.

An iconic image of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, it depicts Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old African-American girl, on her way into an all-white public school in New Orleans on November 14, 1960 during the process of racial desegregation.

Because of threats and violence against her, she is escorted by four deputy U.S. marshals; the painting is framed such that the marshals’ heads are cropped at the shoulders.

On the wall behind her is written the racial slur “nigger” and the letters “KKK”; a smashed tomato thrown at Bridges is also visible.

The white crowd is not visible, as the viewer is looking at the scene from their point of view.

The painting is oil on canvas and measures 36 inches (91 cm) high by 58 inches (150 cm) wide.


Les idées des élèves:

Describe what you see.
Analyse the image using research.
We can see a little black girl.

She is accompanied by four men.
They are probably policemen.

They are in a street, probably in town.

A tomato has been thrown at the wall, perhaps at the little girl.

Maybe the police are protecting her. Maybe they are arresting her.

She is carrying books, a ruler and some pens.
Maybe she is going to school.

She is wearing a little white dress.
They are wearing suits. They have yellow armbands. It is written “Deputy U.S. Marshall”.

We can see graffiti. It is written: “NIGGER” and “Klu Klux Clan”.

Her name is Ruby Bridges. She is six years old.

She is the first black girl to go to an American public school. Her father was reluctant but her mother said we must “take this step forward … for all African-American children.”

She was threatened everyday on her way to and from school.

She is still alive and she is an activist.

At Bridges’ suggestion, President Barack Obama had the painting installed in the White House, in a hallway outside the Oval Office, from July to October 2011.

Ruby Bridges in English and in French.

Martin Luther King

Complète et sous-titré en français
Extrait “I Have a Dream” : Sous-titré en anglais

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.(Research in English | French )