November 22, 2013
Warriors Don't Cry Commentary
Melba Pattillo Beals book, "Warriors Don't Cry" is an intense memoir of the integration of African Americans in Little Rock Arkansas's Central High School. Melba, the main character, and the other of the nine Little Rock students have returned to meet the governor, Bill Clinton starting off the memoir. Melba then begins her story of being one of the Little Rock Nine, experiencing many troubles and questions about segregation along the way. The memoir introduces us to Melba's family, her mother, father, grandma India and brother Conrad and starts off with an appalling story of her birth. The story continues as Melba takes us through her difficult journey from pre-teen, teenager into young adulthood trying to grasp the idea of segregation within her community and cope with the fact that she will never live the normal free life every other white child and teen lives.
There are many instances throughout the book of violence, verbally or physically threatening that could either fuel the fire to fight against segregation or discourage the hopes of some individuals. At some points Melba wants to quit herself, for example at one point Melba regrets signing the list to enroll in Central High and asks grandma India if she can go back to her old school and grandma India tells Melba no she must continue at Central High and be the warrior she needs to be. Melba's home address and phone number were discovered by the mob and white people shot in the windows one night and her father came over and yelled at grandma India. "Daddy came storming in, huffing and puffing his anger. I'm not the kind of man that takes on over his I-told-you-so's, but the fact is, I...