Melba Pattillo Beals
Hard copy edition
From the Publisher:
In 1957, well before Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Melba Pattillo Beals and eight other teenagers became iconic symbols for the Civil Rights Movement and the dismantling of Jim Crow in the American South as they integrated Little Rock’s Central High School in the wake of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education.
Throughout her harrowing ordeal, Melba was taunted by her schoolmates and their parents, threatened by a lynch mob’s rope, attacked with lighted sticks of dynamite, and injured by acid sprayed in her eyes. But through it all, she acted with dignity and courage, and refused to back down.
Throw Back Review,
first posted September 9, 2007:
While reading Darby, my mind kept referring back to the book Warriors Don’t Cry, a book a read about a year ago. This non-fiction book is based on the “Little Rock 9” students who segregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
While living in Arkansas my mom picked this book up and read it. My husband then picked up the book at their home a few years later and brought it home to read himself. He never was able to get around to reading it with his school schedule. I tried a few times to read it without success. Finally last year I sat down and read the account told by Melba herself, who was one of the courageous students. It is an awesome story and very inspiring.
If you are light-hearted book this is not the one to pick. She tells it how it was during that awful year and most of which is very hard to swallow. The fact that she stood through it all and graduated was amazing to me. I am not sure I would have the faith or endurance to do what she did. Thank goodness that someone did and that she shared her story with us. We are all better people because of it.
This is a book that really sticks with you. It is just one of those amazing reads that really makes you think – and the fact that this is a non-fiction makes it even more amazing to me. These events really happened. I am not sure I would be strong enough to live through what these students lived through.
If you read my review of Calling Me Home a couple weeks ago, and thought it sounded interesting, I would add this book to your list too. This is one that I should re-read too. It’s a book with a message. As hard as it is to think about and visualize at times, I think it’s a very important book that everyone can learn from.