Why does Melba Pattillo write Warriors Don't Cry?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Melba Pattillo, born in Little Rock, AR in 1941, wrote Warriors Don't Cry to remind the world about a turning point in American history, a moment in history in which she was intimately involved. She wrote it also for the chance to tell her story of the experiences of desegregation Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Melba Pattillo (now Beals) grew up in Little Rock during a time when racial segregation was deeply and firmly entrenched. The Supreme Court ruled in 1954 in "Brown vs. Board of Education" that public education could not constitutionally be segregated and that all-white schools in the South, or elsewhere, must admit non-white students. Melba was one of the few whose request to attend all-white Central High was accepted. The world was astounded when, during the opening days of the school year, President Eisenhower had to send National Guard troops to Little Rock to Central High to protect the lives of Melba Pattillo and the other students who were attempting to enter under the Supreme Court's ruling.


[Along with an eNotes link to information on Warriors Don't Cry there are links to Melba Pattillo Beals's biography and the transcript of an interview with her.]

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