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Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals

Essay by   •  May 16, 2011  •  Essay  •  738 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,746 Views

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Throughout American history, there have been many incidents due to inequality in our nation. Most incidents include violation and protection of African American rights. In the past, African Americans were looked at as inferior to whites. There has been a series of physical, emotional and mental battles between blacks and whites to acquire freedom and equality for all African American men and women. Most tensions occurred in southern parts of the nation. Back in slavery days in America, southern parts of the nation heavily relied on African American slavery for agriculture.

Later, in the United States of America's history, many aspects were controlled by segregation so that blacks couldn't have the same luxury, respect and opportunities as whites. Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals is a first person narrated story/autobiography about a girl named Melba and her peers' attempt to integrate Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas. The students and their families go through a series of uncomfortable threats and actions opposed by whites in Arkansas and around the nation trying to stop the integration of public schools.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Arkansas refused to integrate their schools. A federal court decision ordered Central High School in Little Rock to begin integrating their schools in 1957. Melba and eight other courageous students wanted to be the first to integrate Central High School. The students and their families knew it would not be safe or easy to be the first black students to integrate.

Melba and her mother drove to Central High School for Melba's first day of class. A mob of anti segregationists surrounded the school. The governor of Arkansas, Orvel Faubus sent the Arkansas National Guard are present on the school grounds. Melba and her mother escape and make it back to the car safe, but disturbed. The governor stated in an interview that the reason for the troops was he heard a rumor that white supremacists were going to riot and he was just protecting the students. He declared Central High off limits to all people of color in order for their own protection. The students never did make it into school that day.

Melba's family tells her she is not allowed to leave home, answer the door or talk on the phone. She tells her grandmother that she wants to go back to her old high school, but her grandmother doesn't let Melba give up. When Melba's father finds out he gets mad at the family for allowing Melba to participate in the segregation.

Two weeks later President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent 1,000 federal troops to Little Rock to uphold the Supreme Court's decision and allow the desegregation of Central High. As the year progressed, the nine students went through a great deal of suffering and torture, but all stayed strong

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