Iconic Power of Norman Rockwell’s ‘The Problem We All Live With

A Timeless Depiction of Courage Amidst Racial Struggles

Norman Rockwell’s “The Problem We All Live With” is a highly recognised and impactful painting.

The 1964 picture shows six-year-old African-American Ruby Bridges travelling to a public school in New Orleans that is exclusively for white students during the racial desegregation era.

The image’s focal point is Ruby Bridges, holding her schoolbooks and dressed in white. She is seen being led by four U.S. Marshals while walking stoically.

The painting’s background, which depicts a wall covered in profanity and a splattered tomato, alludes to the bigotry and animosity Ruby encountered when she assimilated into the previously all-white school.

Ruby Bridges with Obama

To highlight Ruby’s diminutive size and the significant, menacing U.S. Marshals figures, Rockwell purposefully opted to draw attention to how vulnerable a young child is in the face of racial hatred.