Warriors Don't Cry

by Melba Pattillo Beals

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In Warriors Don't Cry, did Auntie Mae think Melba could integrate Central High School?  Why or why not?

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Auntie Mae believed that Melba could integrate Central High because of her feisty nature.  She told Melba,

"If there's anyone who can integrate that school, it's you.  You're just sassy enough to pull it off".

Auntie Mae was Melba's mother's sister.  She was "a wonderfully round, cuddly woman with flowing wavy hair and a warm smile".  A "real live wire", she often pulled playful pranks on people, and told off-color jokes that embarrassed her more reserved sister, causing Mother to "blush and cover (Melba's) ears". 

Melba loved her Auntie Mae, whose "laughter and upbeat attitude always cheered (Melba) up".  Melba was certain that Auntie Mae "could do just about anything", and people who were acquainted with them both often said that Melba really did take after Auntie, sharing with her the same outgoingness and feisty spirit.

Although Melba's mother's brother, Uncle Charlie, did not know why Melba would "want to go where (she was) not wanted", Auntie Mae offered her niece her unqualified support.  Referring to those who opposed Melba's ambitions, she told her, "to heck with them", and tried to assure her with the rumor that Governor Faubus was going to send the National Guard over to the school on the first day.  Auntie Mae was right, but unfortunately, she misread the Governor's intentions.  The National Guard was not going to be deployed to the school to protect the pioneers, they were going to be there to keep them out (Chapter 4). 

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