Warriors Don't Cry

by Melba Pattillo Beals

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Student Question

Why couldn't Melba enjoy her Christmas break in Warriors Don't Cry?

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Melba couldn't look forward to enjoying her Christmas break because Minnijean's suspension from school opened up the real possibility that integration would fail and all members of the Little Rock Nine would eventually be discharged from Central High.

Instead of looking forward to a two-week Christmas break, Melba is beset with worry and fear about Minnijean's future and the group's prospects for a seamless integration into the school community. Embroiled in the controversy about integration, Melba finds herself attending required integration meetings and enduring taunts from white students.

Melba fears Minnijean will never be allowed to return to Central High. If Minnijean is not allowed to return, Melba fears prospects for the other members of the Little Rock Nine to stay on at Central High could dim as well.

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