Warriors Don’t Cry
Melba Pattillo Beals
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
Word Count (Excluding Quotes): 973
“When my teacher asked if anyone who lived within the Central High School district wanted to attend school with white people, I raised my hand. As I signed my name on the paper they passed around, I thought about all those times I’d gone past Central High, wanting to see inside.” (pg. 19)
Melba Pattillo is a 15 year old African America girl who wants nothing but to better the world’s social standards. She attended an all African American school, in Little Rock, Texas because segregation kept her from otherwise. A high profile lawyer, Mr. Brown, and NAACP chief council, Thurgood Marshall fought the Little Rock Board of Education in order to allowed children to integrate black and white students. This quote is taken from a section in the novel that is just after a breakthrough in the Brown v. Board of Education case, which gave African Americans hope of integration. Melba had volunteered blindly, without talking to her parents, her teacher, school councilor, or anyone of that stature. I thought this quote was important to the book because it is the basis of this story. This story is based on Melba and other African American students integrating into Central High School. This quote shows Melba’s courage, and fight to want to be like a regular white child, with all the same rights and access to education, and jobs. This quote easily portrays the heart throughout this novel, and Melba’s swift decision left me almost speechless.
“Sorry child, you can’t go with me to the matches, not tonight,”” said Grandma, grabbing me from my happy recollections. “Maybe next time, when the integration settles down.” (pg. 51)
Melba’s home had been receiving lots of calls, from many strange people who threatened their family, and Melba’s life specifically. The white people recognized most of the integrated...