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Published: 28-09-2019

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Melba Pattillo Beal’s Story as Described in Her Book, Warriors Don't Cry

Warriors Do not Cry retells the heart-wrenching 1st hand account of Melba Pattillo Beal’s. An African-American woman growing up in segregated 1950’s Small Rock, Arkansas. When first introduced to Melba, we see this young ignorant girl whose only query is addressed to God “When will we get our turn to be in charge?” (7). With the support of her Grandma India, possibly one of her greatest influences and mentors, she learns the value of getting patience. As the story progresses we see Melba transform into this mature, tolerant young lady who overcomes the pain of several hardships. She really emcompasses the qualities of a warrior.

A turning point in the memoir is when Grandma India states “You’ll make this your final cry…God’s warriors do not cry” (57) to Melba. Although although Melba and her Grandmother are arguing about no matter whether or not she could attend anything miniscule, which upsets Melba, this statement holds significantly depth. This is when Melba perceives her significance to not only Tiny Rock, but for the whole African-American neighborhood across the United States. Her Grandmother completely realizes what attending Central signifies for the future of blacks in America. She now sees Melba as a soldier who needs to develop thick skin and endure discomfort to get by way of her time at this new high college.

All all through Melba’s childhood she would question God’s plan. Why was God taking so extended to take initiative and bring an finish to the suffering of black lives. When would she ultimately be equal? Ultimately be capable to sit anyplace on the bus, use the white woman’s bathroom, or ride that merry-go-round at Fair Park? Her grandmother’s words resonate with her, she realizes she should shelter her pain from the outdoors. She’s now lastly participating in God’s war following so significantly patient waiting.

Melba chose to share this anecdote with the reader to show the depth of influence that Grandma India had on her. It also served to showcase the pivotal role her grandmother played in Melba’s upbringing. Despite the fact that some may possibly see Grandma India’s actions as being harsh, it’s crucial to differentiate difficult enjoy from simply being cruel. Tears are a sign of weakness, only victims themselves cry.

Her grandmother taught her to by no means see herself as a victim. Grandma India was an elderly, godly lady. Throughout her complete life she saw the mistreatment and dehumanization of black people, and they had been tolerant of this way of living, since they themselves felt they have been victims. She didn’t want Melba to be just another victim.

Yet another occasion that actually reinforced Melba’s resistant ways was the expulsion of her excellent friend Minnijean Brown. Minnijean, ultimately sick and tired of being on the getting end of a lot of cruel comments and violent assaults decided to speak her mind, calling a group of white girl’s “white trash” after they assaulted her. She was expelled right away for her comments.

The white pro-segregationists saw this as a huge victory in their “movement”, and gained momentum in noticing that these black students could indeed be faltered. Seeing that the black students can and will crack below stress began a series of provocations, beginning the chant “one nigger down, eight to go” (241). Melba, realizing this was a prime opportunity the pro-segregationists would use to their advantage, knew it meant becoming stronger than ever. This only strengthened her resistant approaches. She was regularly slapped, spat on and on a single occasion whacked across the face with a tennis racquet. Her only reaction to these cruel actions was a basic “thank you”, infuriating the white folks of Central High, stating “only the warrior exists in me now. Melba went away to hide.” (246). This shows the impact Gandhi’s nonviolent kind of protest had on her.

This is a substantial excerpt from the memoir, it is truly saddening to feel about, but Melba’s innocence was completely lost at this point. She becomes alienated by her actions, as if she’s some sort of strange becoming that has no emotion. She’s hated by the white folks for the color of her skin, and now has lost many pals due to the reactions she has towards the violence just taking the beating. On her sweet sixteen, a day she continually daydreamed about in her adolescence, she ends up getting totally alone to celebrate a day that ends with tears.

Melba wanted to emphasis on the consequences she personally faced due to this “victory” of integration. She didn’t want readers to really feel the war on racial equality ended at Little Rock just simply because of the city’s new integration policies . She wanted people to know that there utilised to be a young girl who came residence from college with rotten eggs in her hair, bruises, and blood stains on her uniform, each and every day. It is a difficult pill to swallow, to realize you no longer can be a silly, naive kid anymore. To realize you fully embody the characteristics of a warrior and no matter how hard you try, you can’t go back to live in a globe you often imagined as getting perfect a planet exactly where you could live care-totally free.

As time carried on Governor Faubus decided the only way to move in the opposite direction of desegregation was to totally close all of Tiny Rock’s schools. Melba didn’t let this inconvenience her education even though and decided to move to Santa Rosa, California. Even right after all the cruelty and neglect she was dealt, she decides to attend San Francisco State University, a college dominated by white students. This just shows Melba’s drive for equality, and the undying flame she has for the movement. Melba states “…it reminded me of the forbidden fences of segregation in Small Rock.” (310). She felt it was her duty to take action and attend the university in order to leave a marking impression.

In Santa Rosa, she lived with the McCabe’s, a white family members who volunteered to host her. Though initial scared of the believed of living with a white family, they all learned to enjoy each and every other extremely quickly. She later expressed “To this day I get in touch with them mom and pop and go to to bask in their adore and get pleasure from the privilege of becoming treated as although I am their daughter.” (308). She recognizes that although white segregationists had been the root lead to of so significantly pain, it was white folks who aided her by way of many obstacles in her life. Melba says “Without the support of other law-abiding white individuals who risked their lives, I wouldn’t be about to tell this story” (309). Melba displays her immense heart and character, she shows that she was not an ignorant individual. In no way feeling hate or resentment to the white race as a entire, but realizing there is good and poor in all people. She especially acknowledges the efforts of Hyperlink and Danny, two white guys who saw an chance to help the cause and took it.

In closing, Melba presented us with a potent narrative that shed light on the Little Rock Crisis and how she was capable of overcoming that year of her life. She teaches us beneficial lessons of patience, forgiveness, and will energy. Thanks to the men and women who surrounded her throughout the year of 1957, she was able to create formidable characteristics that helped her see the planet as it is. With the aid of her Grandma India, she realized the importance of patience and nonviolent protest. This virtue eventually allowed Melba to keep her composure beneath the wicked clench segregationists thrust upon her. By means of the tender care the McCabe’s provided Melba, she sought peace of thoughts. Ultimately coming to terms with what had grow to be of her life, accepting it, and gaining a loving loved ones that would help her in educational endeavours. Her very good pal Hyperlink and bodyguard Danny would serve as her protectors. She saw the brutality of men and women, but also the kindness of men and women. These generous souls made it attainable for Melba to see all other men and women as folks rather than colors.
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