Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals MAG

December 28, 2009
By Tess Greenwald BRONZE, Mt. Kisco, New York
Tess Greenwald BRONZE, Mt. Kisco, New York
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“Most of all, I wanted to be alone so I could search for the part of Melba I was struggling to hold on to.” This quotes really struck me when I read the exhilarating Warriors Don't Cry.

Melba Pattillo Beals' autobiography is a look into a moment of U.S. history recorded in the pages of her diary. Beals, a 16-year-old living in Little Rock, Arkansas, led a normal life until she was chosen to be a warrior in the battle for integration. The Little Rock Nine were the first black students to attend a white public school. As Beals wrote her name on the sign-up sheet to become one of these trailblazers, she had no idea that she was putting her friends, family, and herself in danger.

When Beals arrived at Little Rock Central High on the first day, she faced many obstacles. It was difficult just trying to get through the reporters outside, and when she finally approached the school, it was filled with hatred. When the white students who opposed ­integration chased Beals down the street, she was not sure she wanted to return. Beals knew that she was innocent of any wrongdoing and struggled to understand why the white students could not appreciate her for who she was.

“One down, eight to go” – the white students taunted Beals in the hallways after something tragic happened to one of the Little Rock Nine. Beals' life then took a wild turn as she realized that she was a warrior and she must fight and never give up.

Warriors Don't Cry is a life-changing story, not only for Beals but for the reader too. I was amazed to see how much our society has changed in 60 years. This book tells the raw truth about how African-Americans were viewed and treated by white people and how the Little Rock Nine changed history forever.

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