The landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, brought the promise of integration to Little Rock, Arkansas, but it was hard-won for the nine black teenagers chosen to integrate Central High School in 1957. They ran a gauntlet flanked by a rampaging mob and a heavily armed Arkansas National Guard—opposition so intense that soldiers from the elite 101st Airborne Division were called in to restore order. For Melba Beals and her eight friends those steps marked their transformation into reluctant warriors—on a battlefield that helped shape the civil rights movement.
WARRIORS DON'T CRY, drawn from Melba Beals's personal diaries, is a riveting true account of her junior year at Central High—one filled with telephone threats, brigades of attacking mothers, rogue police, fireball and acid-throwing attacks, economic blackmail, and, finally, a price upon Melba's head. With the help of her English-teacher mother; her eight fellow warriors; and her gun-toting, Bible-and-Shakespeare-loving grandmother, Melba survived. And, incredibly, from a year that would hold no sweet-sixteen parties or school plays, Melba Beals emerged with indestructible faith, courage, strength, and hope.
One of the nine black teenagers who integrated Little Rock's Central High School in 1957 here recounts that traumatic year with drama and detail. Beals, who is now a communications consultant, relies on her own diary from that era and notes made by her English teacher mother--as well as dubiously recreated dialogue--to tell not only of the ugly harassment she was subjected to but also of the impressive dignity of a 15-year-old forced to grow up fast. Arkansas governor Orval Faubus set the tone of the time by resisting integration until a federal judge ordered it. Although Beals was assigned a federal soldier for protection, the young integrationist was still attacked and prevented from engaging in school activities. She recalls stalwart black friends like Minniejean, who was suspended, and a white classmate who surreptitiously kept her informed of the segregationists' tactics. Beals looks back on her Little Rock experiences as ``ultimately a positive force'' that shaped her life. ``The task that remains,'' she concludes, ``is to cope with our interdependence.'' Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Unabridged Version Yay!
I was very happy to see read the original uncut version of the book here I needed it for a class essay and quiz. I really did enjoy this book it was amazing. Some parts I would say were very upsetting and cruel but I just can't believe what she went through I would definitely recommend this version of the book for 18 and over .
I like the book very much because it gives me the insight of how ancestors of mine may have been treated. The challenges and hardships they went through shows if they can conquer all of the negative that surrounded them, you can conquer almost anything.
I was given this book to read in the summer. I didn’t understand the book at all and ended up reading another book instead.574 pages? Really?? It should not be the long and in was very boring in general. I do not recommend reading it. You will be probably lost in the wild array of words that are in here. Very confusing. Thank you for reading my review.