Melba Patillo Beals

Topics: Little Rock Nine, Little Rock Central High School, Melba Pattillo Beals Pages: 3 (1102 words) Published: September 5, 2006
Throughout the mid 1900s, many African American citizens were still not secured equal rights within America. An example of this is shown in 1954, in Little Rock, Arkansas, when Arkansas's Governor Orval Faubus defied the ruling of the Supreme Court's decision to put an end to segregated schools ("Melba Patillo Beals"1). One person who strived to make a change, and end segregated schools was Melba Beals. She and eight other of her friends, (known as "The Little Rock 9"), attended an all white school, making a huge, progressive, step forward in the Civil Rights Movement. Beals faced angry, white, mobs discriminating against her, day by day, but still managed to find the courage to go to school everyday, thus making her a worthy hero in our society and in history.

Melba Beals was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on Pearl Harbor Day, which was December 7, 1941. She had a wonderful family until seven years old, when her parents divorced ("Melba Patillo Beals"1). Her mother and grandmother were both wise women, who had a major impact on her all throughout her life. Her mother was an English teacher, and one of the first black students to integrate at the University of Arkansas. Her grandmother taught her many things about life, and always told her to have faith in God, making her read the bible often. As a child, she was often curious why white people were better than African Americans, and dreamed of going to the all white high school known as Central High School. One day, she finally had the chance, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of "Brown vs. Board of Education" which said that segregation within schools was unconstitutional. Several years later in 1955, the Little Rock school board devised a plan to limit integration, but not until 1957 ("Melba Patillo Beals"1).

As the opportunity came to sign up to attend Central High School, Beals was one of several students who signed her name on the sheet. She stated that, "I thought about all of those times I'd gone...
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