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Wariors Don

’t Cry Essay, Research Paper ?Warriors Don’t Cry? By: PePe Reyes Melba Pattillo Beals had to fight one of the most courageous wars in history, a war against color. Melba was one of nine black students who was involved in one of the

’t Cry Essay, Research Paper

?Warriors Don’t Cry?

By: PePe Reyes

Melba Pattillo Beals had to fight one of the most courageous wars in history, a

war against color. Melba was one of nine black students who was involved in one of the

most important civil rights movements in American history. These nine black students were the first to attend the all-white Central High School

in Little Rock, Arkansas. This was a major turning point for blacks all across the United

States and opened the way for other blacks to begin attending white schools. Melba

began her story with her childhood in Little Rock, Arkansas. She lived with her mother,

grandma, and brother in a strict and religious household. Her family had come to accept

the fact that they would always be mistreated because of their color. In the South this

mistreatment of blacks was seen as perfectly normal. As a young girl, she experienced first hand how awful it was to be segregated

against and be constantly ridiculed simply because of her color. She wanted to do something about it and prayed for an opportunity that would

allow her to fight back and hopefully make a difference. On May 17, 1954, Melba?s

opportunity began to emerge. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in

public schools was unconstitutional in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.

In spite of the Supreme Court ruling, Arkansas did not begin to integrate its schools.

Eventually, a federal court ordered Central High School in Little Rock to begin admitting

black students in 1957 in order to begin the state?s process of desegregation. She was one of nine

courageous students who decided to try to attend the all-white Central High School.

Although all the students knew it would not be easy to be the first black students to

integrate, it was a lot more strenuous and difficult than anyone of them had imagined. On

the first day that they tried to attend Central High School, they didn?t even get into the

school. There were thousands of people from all over the country outside the school that

morning. Most were anti-segregationists trying to prevent the nine students from

entering. As the nine students walked past the angry mob and tried to enter the school,

they were stopped and turned away by National Guardsmen who had been sent by Orval

Faubus, the governor of Arkansas. Two weeks later President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent

1,000 federal troops to Little Rock to uphold the Supreme Court?s decision and allow the

desegregation of Central High. As the year progressed, the nine students went through a

great deal of suffering and torture, but all stayed strong and kept attending, knowing they

were making a difference in the lives of blacks all across the country. This was a war that had to be fought for civil rights, and Beal?s book shows the tremendous

struggle and suffering she and the eight other students went through. Every day

during the school year, the Little Rock Nine were harassed relentlessly. They would get

their books and jackets stolen, have rocks thrown at them, be tripped, pushed into corners

and beaten repeatedly. Not only did the teachers let all of this happen, but they joined in

on some of the name-calling. The students even feared for their lives at times. One such

event took place when a white student and a group of his friends came charging across a

field yelling at Melba, threatening to hang her. In other instances, the nine black students

received bomb threats at their homes and death threats against their family members on a

regular basis. One of the most enjoyable things about

being a teenager is being able to be with your friends and socialize outside of school.

This opportunity was stripped from Melba the second she decided to attend Central High

School. She couldn?t ever leave her house for anything because of constant threats and

anti-segregationists who were just waiting outside of her house. Even her black friends from her

previous school abandoned her because they were afraid they might be seen by white

citizens and hassled themselves. Sometimes she desperately wanted to give up and have her old life

back. Once she said that she wanted to die because the battle was just too hard. When she

was really discouraged, she found courage in her faith in God and in the support from her

family members. Warriors Don?t Cry is an account of courage and a milestone

for the civil rights movement. It is because of their struggles and the battles fought by

Melba Beals and the other eight students that desegregation finally took place in

Arkansas. At the end of the school year, the black students emerged from Central High

victoriously. They had survived an entire year in the hostile environment of the school.

They had opened the doors for other black students in the entire country to attend white

schools.

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