Reaction Paper to Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals

Essay by DolphingirlLJHigh School, 11th gradeA, October 2014

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We've all learned about segregation in the United States and how awful if was for African Americans. However, we've all haven't read about it first hand in the point of few from a teenage African American. Warriors Don't Cry was an extremely eye opening and shocking book. Some of the things Melba, the author, writes about is utterly unbelievable.

Before reading this book, I knew that segregation existed and that is was horrible, but I never knew it to the extant it went in the book. I learned that segregationists had meetings to discuss what kinds of terrible things they would do to try and keep blacks out of their schools. I had never imagined that regular people could actually sit and have a civilized meeting talking about physically harming someone and torturing another human being. I also didn't know about the individual horrors students like Melba had to face each and every day in Central High School. She would be kicked, shoved, punched, spat on, slapped, called names, and much more. One of the most powerful sections of the book for me was when Melba and her mom arrive at Central High the very first day she is to integrate, and they see the ginormous mob that went on for 2 blocks outside Central. People were shouting terrible things and chanting "Two, four, six, eight, we ain't gonna integrate". The fact that this many people would show up and shout hurtful things and threaten to kill them astounded me. These people were there just because some kids, who happen so be a different color, are going to the same school as their children. These people genuinely wanted to hurt and kill these teenagers just for wanting to attend a better school. Another eye opening moment in the book...