Books and Movies Reviews

Warriors Dont Cry

Growing up as a teenager, Melba Pattillo Beals had to fight one of the most courageous wars in history.No, not a war that took place in the trenches of a battlefield, but a war that took place in the halls of an American high school—a war against color.Melba was one of nine black students who was involved in one of the most important civil rights movements in American history.These nine black students, known as the Little Rock Nine, were thefirst to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 4, 1957.This was a major turning point for blacks all across the United States and opened the way for other blacks to begin attending white schools. Melba managed to survive her days at Central High School and wrote about her extraordinary “battles” and experiences in her autobiography, Warriors Don’t Cry.
Melba began her story with her childhood in Little Rock, Arkansas.She lived with her mother, grandma, and brother in a strict and religious household. Her family had come to accept the fact that they would always be mistreated because of their color. In the South this mistreatment of blacks was seen as perfectly normal, but Melba saw things a little differently. As a young girl, she experiencedfirst hand how awful it was to be segregated against and be constantly ridiculed simply because of her color.Unlike most people, though, she wanted to do something about it and prayed for an opportunity that would allow her to fight back and hopefully make a difference.
On May 17, 1954, Melba’s opportunity began to emerge.The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.In spite of the Supreme Court ruling, Arkansas did not begin to integrate its schools.Eventually, a federal court ordered Central High School in Little Rock to begin admitting black students in 1957 in orde…

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