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Warriors Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High | [Melba Pattillo Beals]

Warriors Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High

The landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, brought the promise of integration to Little Rock, Arkansas, but it was hard-won for the nine black teenagers chosen to integrate Central High School in 1957. They ran a gauntlet flanked by a rampaging mob and a heavily armed Arkansas National Guard-opposition so intense that soldiers from the elite 101st Airborne Division were called in to restore order.
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Publisher's Summary

The landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, brought the promise of integration to Little Rock, Arkansas, but it was hard-won for the nine black teenagers chosen to integrate Central High School in 1957. They ran a gauntlet flanked by a rampaging mob and a heavily armed Arkansas National Guard-opposition so intense that soldiers from the elite 101st Airborne Division were called in to restore order. For Melba Beals and her eight friends those steps marked their transformation into reluctant warriors - on a battlefield that helped shape the civil rights movement.

Warriors Don't Cry, drawn from Melba Beals's personal diaries, is a riveting true account of her junior year at Central High-one filled with telephone threats, brigades of attacking mothers, rogue police, fireball and acid-throwing attacks, economic blackmail, and, finally, a price upon Melba's head. With the help of her English-teacher mother; her eight fellow warriors; and her gun-toting, Bible-and-Shakespeare-loving grandmother, Melba survived. And, incredibly, from a year that would hold no sweet-sixteen parties or school plays, Melba Beals emerged with indestructible faith, courage, strength, and hope.

©1994 Melba Patillo Beals (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Beals, one of the nine black students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, AR, in 1957, tells an incredible story of faith, family love, friendships, and strong personal commitment." (School Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (30 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jill 03-12-13
    Jill 03-12-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A poignant memoir - a MUST READ for all!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Warriors Don't Cry to be better than the print version?

    Yes, the narrator made the book come to life!


    Have you listened to any of Lisa Reneé Pitts’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first listen to her performance - very very GOOD!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! I nearly did...in two days I was finished and wanted to hear more!


    Any additional comments?

    I was so moved by this book and feel it should be a requirement in EVERY middle school in America. Education Education Education!!!!

    As a young student of Denver Public Schools in the 1970's, I was never taught about the Little Rock 9 or any other Civil Rights movement. I was not made aware of any of it until 6 years ago when my then middle school son went on a school trip to Little Rock to visit Central High schoool. I was shocked and appalled and ashamed that my public education skipped over the heroic efforts that these amazing young students made in order to find the equality they deserved.

    Melba's account of her horrifying experiences as a pioneer black woman integrating an all white school are sobering and heart-breaking. She sacrificed her entire high school experience on behalf of her own race. No prom, no sporting events, no school plays, rarely going into public for fear of literally being killed. I am so grateful for her courage to overcome the torture she faced every single day at school, just wanting to have the same education afforded to the white people. It makes me ill to think that anyone could do the horrible things these young white students did to the the Little Rock 9. Further, their parents taught them to be the demons they were.

    I pray that our children will continue to push for equality and make this nation a better place to live. We are all one...ALL ONE!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Belleville, IL, United States 05-04-12
    Lisa Belleville, IL, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2005
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    "This Warrior made me cry!"
    What did you love best about Warriors Don't Cry?

    I've heard the story of the Little Rock Nine, but this tells of the real story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Melba, of course!


    What does Lisa Reneé Pitts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She reads story very well, but when reading the part of her Grandmother dhe brings her alive.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes , I was anxious to return to it everyday.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Carrollton, TX, United States 08-17-14
    Kenneth Carrollton, TX, United States 08-17-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Enlightening"
    Would you listen to Warriors Don't Cry again? Why?

    Yes, the author reveals facts, that I fact check but she also shares her personal experience which is astonishing. I am not from the South and was only 7 years old when this even happened but my empathy for Melba and the others was aroused. It's hard to understand how people like Faubus existed.


    What other book might you compare Warriors Don't Cry to and why?

    I think the author's own suggestion to read the life of Gandhi is good.


    What about Lisa Reneé Pitts’s performance did you like?

    I got a lot of stares from my family and questions because she is very dramatic.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did.


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone and every high schooler should read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian DAYTON, OH, United States 03-26-14
    Brian DAYTON, OH, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2012

    I am a 14 year old girl. I love reading but i have a reading disorder so reading is very hard for me. I love listening to books so much!

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    "It Was Okay."
    Would you try another book from Melba Pattillo Beals and/or Lisa Reneé Pitts?

    No, I didn't enjoy this book. I know it all really happened but I just do not find these kinds of stories very good. I mean all this book really does is make white people feel like crap because of what we did like 60 years ago.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Melba Pattillo Beals again?

    No. I found the whole thing very annoying.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Lisa Reneé Pitts’s performances?

    No, I found the whole thing very annoying.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Warriors Don't Cry?

    A lot. I know one of the paper copies I have of this book is a lot shorter. I would take out the whole long speech at the end and some of the journal entries.


    Any additional comments?

    I am totally going to return this once I'm done writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kimberlytere United States 03-10-14
    kimberlytere United States 03-10-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Fantastic Read! So important!"
    If you could sum up Warriors Don't Cry in three words, what would they be?

    Powerful, important and insightful.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Warriors Don't Cry?

    When Melba has a Sweet 16 party, something she has looked forward to for years and it does not turn out how she dreamed. Heartbreaking.


    Have you listened to any of Lisa Reneé Pitts’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I did like the narrator.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A story of survival against the cruelty of others.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope everyone reads this. It is an important part of US history. I have seen the photos of the Little Rock 9, but this brings the whole thing to life in painstaking detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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