Melba Pattillo Beals
U.S.A.: Washington Square Press, 1995
Before 1954 you would never have seen an African American in a White school. Once 1954 rolled around and the U.S. Supreme Court came to the decision to end segregation. In “Warriors Don’t Cry,” Melba Pattillo shares her story with the world of just how tough it was to be one of the first black students in an all white school. Her story shows how her perseverance and the mental and physical torture she went through would change the world forever.
Melba Pattillo was one of 9 students to integrate Central High school in Little Rock, Arkansas. She and the 8 others became known as the little rock 9. Many of the white parents tried filing lawsuits and doing everything they could to keep the African Americans from integrating into their schools. Before school begins in Central High School governor Faubus declared he would send in the Arkansas National Guard. He did not state whether or not it was to protect the students or to keep the black students out. This was overruled by Federal Court Judge Davies. On the first day of school Melba and her grandmother were surrounded by a mob of white people. Although Melba and the others were unharmed the situation brought down the spirits of the students. Melba’s grandmother pushed her through the pain and guided Melba on her way to making history. To stop the angry white mob President Eisenhower sends in the 101st airborne division to protect the students. Day in and day out Melba and the other students were tortured by their white classmates. In December one of Melba’s fellow black students was expelled for supposedly fighting back with a white girl. Although this fueled segregationists, it kept the remaining 8 wanting to overcome the treachery. Although being beaten scalded, abused, and demoralized, Melba never fought back and graduated from Little Rock Central School. Melba...