Three Who Dared Critical Essays

Tom Cohen


(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

One of Cohen’s purposes in writing this work was to show how fear of white retribution constantly plagued African Americans, as well as the three men whose stories are told in Three Who Dared. Yet, true to their ideals and personal commitments, many civil rights workers never abandoned their cause.

Aronson faced continual threats, low pay, personal discomfort, and even physical violence at the hands of law enforcement officials and civilians. In the end, however, nothing could dissuade him from continuing his work for racial equality through the legal system.

Cohen also explains how neither economic hardship nor white intimidation prevented O’Neal and his associates from carrying out the mission of the Free Southern Theater: the promotion of freedom and dignity among African Americans. Ultimately, however, O’Neal was forced by the courts to leave his newfound passion. Although he had refused to join the Army on the grounds of personal religious beliefs, he did agree to serve comparable time working in a hospital. This was yet one more example of the kind of unswerving commitment to an ideal possessed by civil rights workers.

Weinberger is described as having suffered the greatest physical abuse from his various encounters with white officials, including a thirty-two-day, self-imposed hunger strike that was a demonstration of his commitment to equal rights and nonviolent protest. After he left the Freedom Movement, it...

(The entire section is 434 words.)