“Warriors Don’t Cry” by Melba Pattillo Beals

The decision of the Supreme Court legally stopped racial segregation in American schools, but this process was met with resistance from many people in several states. For example, in 1957 in the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, federal troops were introduced after the failure of the state governor to carry out the court’s decision. In September at the beginning of the school year, nine black children, who were later known as the “Nine from Little Rock”, were to go to school due to the new legislation on desegregation, but they were met by armed soldiers of the National Guard State (obeying the Governor). A crowd gathered early to intimidate white children, shouting threats and insults. Within the next 19 days black students were forced to stay home. Later, the decision of a federal court ordered to remove troops from the school. However, on 23 September, when black students came to school, on the street again gathered aggressive crowd. Even two months later, when the troops were withdrawn, white students began to humiliate, insult and beat black children. Though little brave pupils decided to stay at school, despite all the sufferings and humiliations, and eight of the nine children finished the school year.

The book in fact is interesting as it shows experiences of nine brave, young African-American students from honest, hardworking, families. Those children and their families tried to stand for the oppression that black people had faced for the past centuries in the USA. As for Melba Beals, she was extremely positive and inspiring young girl, who dreamt to get an education, and then to become an equal member the society, of joint community of both the black and white people.

These events and experiences are very brightly and interestingly described in the book “Warriors Don’t Cry” by Melba Pattillo Beals. This book opens up many interesting points and details of the history of Little Rock and nine children. First of all, it is important to note that the book shows those real events and experiences faced by the black heroes of the story. The author has described all the feelings of anger and resentment, sufferings and emotions of characters, shows the true position of black people at that time, because from the historical sources we can not know the whole truth, all the details of the history of Little Rock, but only the official information.

I would advise to read this book to everyone, because the theme of discrimination and inequality is important for everyone, and is still relevant. The book also is interesting from a historical perspective, while revealing the important events of American history, and history of the struggle of black people for their rights and equality in society. Also, this book is interesting because it shows such important qualities as strength, faith, courage of people in the fight with injustice. In the images of heroes, and especially of Melba Beals, we can see that each ordinary person has strength to fight with such great evil as racism and hatred, it is necessary just not to stay indifferent. So the book “Warriors Don’t Cry” is important from historical and social points of view, interesting and exciting, instructive, and raises problems of people and society.


Works cited:

Bates, Daisy. The Long Shadow of Little Rock: A Memoir. New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1962

Beals Melba Pattillo. Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High. Washington Square Press , 1995