Wariors Don

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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 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