Book Review: Warriors Don’t Cry

“Warriors Don’t Cry,” by Melba Pattillo Beals (1994), describes the experience of integrating Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. It is a good reminder of all the ways people can be hateful, and feel justified doing it. The South was encouraged to be lawless and discriminatory after the Hayes Compromise of 1877, when the Federal Government agreed to turn a blind eye to any means of controlling the African American population in the South.

It is wrong to use the color of law to create a concentration camp atmosphere complete with the Ku Klux Klan, economic warfare, and shutting down high schools and pools, simply to avoid integration. It can happen again, and we should not be complacent. Beals had to move to Santa Rosa, California, to complete high school. She is a good example for all of us. Highly recommended.

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