Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges blasted the bans that have targeted her books, and many others, in an interview on Meet the Press.

Bridges has been one of the most recognizable faces of the civil rights movement since 1960, when, at age 6, she became the first Black student at William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Her walk to the school, escorted by federal marshals, was depicted in Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting The Problem We All Live With.

She has written about her experiences in a number of children’s books, including This Is Your Time, which have been challenged in school libraries.

On Meet the Press, host Kristen Welker asked Bridges about the controversy over book bans and challenges.

“Most of my books have been banned,” Bridges said. “The excuse that I’ve heard them give is that my story actually makes…white kids feel bad about themselves. My biggest fans are kids all around the world.…I have little girls from all walks of life, different nationalities, that dress up like Ruby Bridges. I’ve found, through my 25 years of traveling, that they resonate with the loneliness, probably the pain that I felt, not having a friend.”

Bridges continued, “There’s all sorts of reasons that they are drawn to my story. I believe that it’s just an excuse not to share the truth, to cover up history. But I believe that history is sacred, that none of us should have the right to change or alter history in any way.”

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.