Warriors Don't Cry

by Melba Pattillo Beals

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Student Question

Why does Minnijean in Warriors Don't Cry want to sing on stage at Central High?

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Minnijean desires to sing on stage at Central High because she believes that her fellow white students would be more accepting of her if they could hear her perform.

In the story, Minnijean, like her other eight black classmates, increasingly feels isolated from the larger school community. While some of her black peers are resigned to this state of affairs, Minnijean wants to do something different. She thinks that performing on stage at school events would greatly alter the current stalemate in race relations within Central High.

Despite Melba's advice, Minnijean pushes to be included in school events. However, the more she fights for the right to sing in front of the white students, the more her efforts are reviled by the larger white student community. In the end, her eight black peers decide that they have no choice but to accept that Minnijean's efforts represent the only way she can cope with rejection and isolation.

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