Warriors Don't Cry

by Melba Pattillo Beals

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Why did Melba volunteer to integrate Central High School in "Warriors Don't Cry"?

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Warriors Don’t Cry is the true story of Melba Pattillo Beals and her journey to help integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1955. She volunteers, without consulting her family, when she realizes that she and her peers are not getting the same education as her white peers. Her school is always cold in the winter, and her books are always worn and torn. Meanwhile, across town, the white students do not have to deal with the same issues.

Melba believes that going to Central will give her the education she deserves. She also hopes that by helping to integrate the district’s schools, she will be taking the first step in making Little Rock like Cincinnati. She believes that if the schools were integrated, the two races would learn more about one another and be able to live together. She wants whites to realize they are wrong about her people and knows that if they are living and working together, they will learn about her and her culture.

Melba doesn’t tell her parents, and as she hears stories about protests against integration she doesn’t think anything will come of it, but, as we learn, she is selected as one of the nine to attend Central High School, making it an integrated school.

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