Warriors Don't Cry

by Melba Pattillo Beals

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In Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals, why does Melba aspire to be a reporter?

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Melba is also given journalistic opportunities to write about what she is experiencing at Little Rock. During one interview at the home of NAACP leader Daisy Bates, a reporter asks if she can "write as well as she can speak." She confirms that she can and is assigned to write about her experience for Associated Press. Her story appears in the local Arkansas newspaper. She is also approached by Stan Opotowski of The New York Post and a black photographer from the paper. They ask if she would like to contribute to the Post.

Melba also feels that, without the support of the white Northern reporters, the Little Rock Nine may have been killed by the angry white mob, and their story would have been buried at the back of a newspaper in a few lines of copy. The support that she received from reporters during her trying years at Central encouraged her desire to become a journalist.

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Melba wants to be a reporter because she wants to be in a position to make a difference in her community. Also, after remembering the camaraderie she experienced with the white reporters, Melba wants to be a part of this informed and progressive group of professionals.

In Chapter Five, Melba is interviewed by some white reporters. They are friendly and address her as "Miss." Until then, she had never been addressed in this manner by any white person. During the interview, the white reporters maintain their interest in what Melba has to say, and their kindness greatly comforts Melba. In looking back, she is touched that the reporters behaved as if they were "genuine friends with the people of color among their ranks, sharing work and laughter."

Melba begins to dream that, if she became a reporter, she "could be in charge of a few things." This is perhaps an allusion to the fact that Melba dreams of affecting change in her community.

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