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1960 Norman Rockwell. 2009 CNN photo. Ruby Bridges and Sasha Obama.

The painting by Norman Rockwell that depicted Ruby Bridges’ first day of integration:

The Problem We All Live With.

The Problem We All Live With.

49 years later, it is now a President’s daughter that gets the escort, and a more joyous walk:

Sasha's first day

Sasha's first day

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  • Bill Cammack 6 January 2009, 4:28 pm

    Sweet. 🙂

  • Annie Duggan 6 January 2009, 4:54 pm

    The times, they are a-changin’…

  • pishba 6 January 2009, 4:55 pm

    May I just say Wow.

    • PurpleCar 6 January 2009, 5:39 pm

      Thanks, Bill Annie and Pishba, and to Pai for stumbling! Amazing how far we’ve come, huh?

  • Bob 6 January 2009, 10:53 pm

    Hey, Christine,

    Great visual rhyming, as they like to say in the art biz. The Obamas are so conscious of history, and their own role in history, that I’m sure they would appreciate the connection, if it didn’t occur to them already. I’ve always loved that Rockwell painting because it shows his “serious” side. Rockwell’s much deeper than most people think. The fact that he was an optimist and a real believer in the American ideal leads people to see him as naive. I think he’d be an Obamaphile today.


    • PurpleCar 7 January 2009, 3:20 pm


      thanks! Thanks for those insights on Rockwell. I’d love to hear more. The Obama Family are already such a uniquely american phenomenon that they would be a perfect subject for a Rockwell painting. My comparison on my blog between his 1960 painting of little Ruby Bridges with her braids and the CNN photo of little Sasha Obama would inspire Rockwell, I think. People have dissed Rockwell’s art to me in the past but there is room for all kinds of art. Just because something is Americana doesn’t mean it’s kitsch. Thanks again, buddy!


  • cherishhellfire 11 January 2009, 10:04 am

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Awesome correlation darlin’.

    • PurpleCar 11 January 2009, 12:30 pm

      thanks c-fire! The first thing I thought of when I saw Sasha Obama’s pigtails when she was walking to school was that Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby Bridges.

  • toronto escorts 26 February 2009, 1:10 pm

    The painting by Norman Rockwell that depicted Ruby Bridges’ first day of integration:
    The Problem We All Live With.

    The Problem We All Live With.

    49 years later, it is now a President’s daughter that gets the escort, and a more joyous walk:

  • Donna 15 February 2010, 11:33 am

    I am helping my nine year old step-son, ( who happens to be bi-racial) with a collage for Black History Month, While gathering photos and facts, I recalled this above caption being e-mailed to me, and without hesitation IMMEDIATETLY printed it to add to his project, as well as a copy for our home. If there is any truth or signifigance to the old addage….”a picture is worth a thousand words” ? this is DEFINATELY one of them. As African Americans, we need to be EVER mindful of the many sacrifices, sufferings, and degradation those before us had to endure, to make it possible for this generation to have opportunities, that were denied to them. I thank God that little Ruby…..at such a young age…had the faith, courage, and tenacity to….”KEEP STEPPIN” Let us ALL take time this month, to reflect on the MANY accomplishments and contributions that African-Americans have made to make the world a better place for ALL people!

    • PurpleCar 15 February 2010, 5:54 pm


      I could NOT have said it BETTER myself! Let’s stay ever mindful of the sacrifices, and let us never be judgmental if we see someone standing on the shoulders of those who sacrificed! Ever higher, ever better. As you said, KEEP STEPPIN’, up and up! We need more education, more opportunities for our African American young people. We are missing talent! We gotta keep going, all of us.

      My birthday is in February, and I’m honored to share it with Black History Month. It isn’t only Black history, it’s our history. Walk on!

      -Christine Cavalier, PurpleCar


  • Angela Bean 27 April 2010, 12:20 am

    I had the opportunity to see this painting for the first time, “The Problem We All Live With”, and I was at that moment given a new revelation of Norman Rockwells’ true sense of humanitaian, art. For him to have a sense of reality and to give a view outside of the “normal” box of, caucasianism was a first for me. I visited the Ringling Museum of Art- in Sarasota, Florida this past weekend. I have always enjoyed the artistic works of Norman Rockwell throughout the years, but kept a distance of view because there was never any representation of the African American people in his works. But I now have a new view, respect , and understanding of this artists’ works; and I am thrilled to see that he truley had a heart for people of color and their struggles of life!
    When I saw the painting, “The Problem We All Live With” at the Ringling Museum, I was amazed!
    I am also happy to see that our President of The United States of America has given his daughters the opportunity and knowledge to experience such a historical fact of the African American people; which is one of many lessons I am sure that Sasha and her sister has been exposed to!
    At this museum, there were two African American female children at this visit- and the ten year old, Jasmine, saw this same picture at the museum and asked; why is she walking with those men alone like that? The scene was explained to her, and I noticed at that moment- she also seemed to have a new revelation of her life in this world; her silence was a chilling sight!

    I only hope that this message, among others, may be expressed to many of our children-African American children, as well as the children of all races; so that they may have a better understanding of this world’s separations and that they may be better prepared to have the hearts to uplift and bring all people of our world to live together in peace, harmony, and understanding!

    Because our Nation has been presently graced with the high intelligence of President, Barack Obama; we can now be recognized specifically to others throughout all other countries, as a truely, Intelligent Nation of ONE!

    I can now honestly say that I am Proud to be an American!!

    • PurpleCar 27 April 2010, 8:32 am


      Thanks so much for that heartfelt story! Isn’t it strange how sometimes silence can say so much more than words?

      The key to fighting racism is exposure. The more we see people portrayed in a positive light, the less pre-set negative notions we have of them. Spread positive images and media of African-American people. The more people are exposed to, the better it will be. Psych research supports this. Start a blog, post pictures and tag them well on Flickr and other photo sharing sites. Get that positive light shining!

      -Christine Cavalier, aka PurpleCar


  • LizzieJean<3Stef 16 December 2010, 6:23 pm

    I think it really cool how these two pictures show how much we have progressed throught out history. 🙂

  • Lizziejean<3 Stef 16 December 2010, 6:24 pm