Warriors Don't Cry
A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central HighBook - 1994
One of the nine black teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock, Arkansas' Central High School in 1957 offers an account of her ordeal and of the 1987 "reunion" hosted by then-Governor Bill Clinton. 30,000 first printing. Tour.
Blackwell North Amer
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 the gauntlet between a rampaging mob and the heavily armed Arkansas National Guard, dispatched by Governor Orval Faubus to subvert federal law and bar them from entering the school. President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded by sending in soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division, the elite "Screaming Eagles" - and transformed Melba Pattillo and her eight friends into reluctant warriors on the battlefield of civil rights.
May 17, 1994, marks the fortieth anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which was argued and won by Thurgood Marshall, whose passion and presence emboldened the Little Rock struggle. Melba Pattillo Beals commemorates the milestone decision in this first-person account of her ordeal at the center of the violent confrontation that helped shape the civil rights movement. Beals takes us from the lynch mob that greeted the terrified fifteen-year-old to a celebrity homecoming with her eight compatriots thirty years later, on October 23, 1987, hosted by Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in the mansion that Faubus built. As they returned to tour the halls of the school, gathering from myriad professions and all corners of the country, they were greeted by the legacy of their courage - a bespectacled black teenager, the president of the student body at Central High.
Beals chronicles her harrowing junior year at Central High, when she began each school day by polishing her saddle shoes and bracing herself for battle. Nothing, not even the 101st Airborne Division, could blunt the segregationists' brutal organized campaign of terrorism that included telephone threats, insults and assaults at school, brigades of attacking mothers, rogue police, restroom fireball attacks, acid-throwers, vigilante stalkers, 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 - who taught her Gandhi's mind games and spiritual strength - Melba survived. "Dignity," said Grandmother India, "is a state of mind, just like freedom. These are both precious gifts from God that no one can take away unless you allow them to." And faced with disapproval from parts of the black community, Melba made unlikely friends: Link, a white student who came with a gang to attack her - then saved her and became her underground spy. And Danny, the soldier assigned to protect her, who warned, "You will have to become a soldier. Never let your enemy know what you are feeling. Never let them see you cry."
Drawn from her personal diary, Warriors Don't Cry is Beals' riveting true story of an embattled teenager who paid for integration with her innocence. From a junior year like no other - a year that would hold no sweet sixteen party, no chance for a part in the school play - she emerged with indestructible faith, courage, strength, and hope.
One of the nine Black teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock, Arkansas' Central High School in 1957 offers an account of her ordeal
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Describes the events surrounding the 1957 Little Rock Central High School Integration by Melba Pattillo Beals, a student in "The Little Rock Nine".
Author Melba Pattilo Beals was just 16 in 1957, but her young age didn’t stop her from becoming a “warrior” on the front lines of the American civil rights movement, when she was one of nine teens chosen to integrate Little Rock Central High School. The integration was indeed, a battle. Melba was taunted, threatened and even attacked – more than once. Through it all, she refused to give up … and Warriors Don’t Cry is her inspiring – and true – story.
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