Warriors Don't Cry

Warriors Don't Cry

A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High

Book - 1994
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"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."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Publisher: New York : Pocket Books;Washington Square Press, c1994,1995
ISBN: 9780671866389
Characteristics: xxiii, 312 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

The memoir of Melba Pattillo, one of the nine African American students who volunteered to integrate the all-white Little Rock Central High School.

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May 19, 2019

An amazing but horrible to read book I don't think I could survive a day at Central high the author is strong and determined throughout the story to evil people tearing her down and she replies a sweet comment "Thank you" Melba has and will always be a warrior in her life when living I'd like to thank her for applying central high to know that part of my African American culture to never give up

Nov 09, 2018

This is a very good book. This book tells the sory of Melba during her integration into Central High School. This book also tells about her family and close friends that supported her, and the obstacles that got in her way.

Jul 10, 2015

I loved reading this book for my Honors English assignment this summer. I am usually not a fan of this genre, but this book was certainly an exception. Reading this book written by Ms.Beals herself, was really eye opening and made me feel as if I was experiencing a day at Central High in her shoes. Furious as I am for the hardships the Little Rock Nine had to go through, I am glad that they went through with their plan and caused a ripple effect which greatly helped integrate many other places as well. I am glad that now everyone is treated equal, the way it was always meant to be.

Cakez01 Aug 13, 2014

This book is remarkable! I normally DON'T read this genre in order to avoid when such books get heavy into politics. However, Melba has given the reader a well explained, clear, and real life experience of what she went through during the days of extreme prejudice practices. An excellent way for a person to appreciate the decade/era in which they were born.

blue_wolf_2277 Jul 03, 2013

This book provides an in depth perspective of the life of the Little Rock Nine group of black students who first began desegregating America, showing just how brutal their lives were as well as their importance in American History.


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Aug 23, 2018

"I squared my shoulders and tried to remember what grandma had said:God loves you child; no matter what he sees you as his precious idea."

Aug 23, 2018

“The effort to separate ourselves whether by race, creed, color, religion, or status is as costly to the separator as to those who would be separated.”

Aug 23, 2018

“The task that remains is to cope with our interdependence - to see ourselves reflected in every other human being and to respect and honor our differences.”

Jul 23, 2016

"Dignity," said Grandmother India, "is a state of mind, just like freedom."


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Jul 10, 2015

blue_zebra_421 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

blue_wolf_2277 Jul 03, 2013

blue_wolf_2277 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

StratfordLibrary Jun 24, 2010

StratfordLibrary thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 18


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Jun 28, 2016

Describes the events surrounding the 1957 Little Rock Central High School Integration by Melba Pattillo Beals, a student in "The Little Rock Nine".

StratfordLibrary Jun 24, 2010

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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