Warriors Don't Cry

by Melba Pattillo Beals

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Student Question

Do you agree that Melba Pattillo Beals, a participant in the integration of Central High School, is a hero?

Quick answer:

Melba Patillo Beals is a true hero because she faced the taunts and threats of mobs, the hostility of other students, and the possibility that her life might be in danger to fight for civil rights. 6.

Expert Answers

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The definition of a hero is someone who is admired for his or her courage or good deeds, so I think Melba Patillo Beals is a true hero. She had great courage to face the angry mobs that taunted her and the other African-American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957-1958. She faced these mobs and hostile students, some of whom threatened to hurt or kill her, every day during an entire school year. Someone even threw acid in her eyes, which she was able, with the help of the soldier guarding her, to quickly wipe out of her eyes. She never retaliated with violence, and though she was uncertain about whether she could go on, she returned to school day after day. Her actions showed great courage and perseverance. Her commitment to integration, to civil rights, and to her faith only grew in the face of the violence she faced, as she was dedicated to the cause and committed to making the world a fairer place. In order to advance the cause of civil rights, she sacrificed a year of her adolescence and later committed herself to continuing to fight for the cause. 

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