Kyle Yee
Mr. McGlashan
US History AP
Advocates of a Warrior

      In 1954, the United States Supreme Court declared segregated schools illegal in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. This decision allowed black and white students to go to the same schools in the previously segregated South. In Little Rock, Arkansas, however the majority of white citizens opposed the rule and immediately after the ruling, chaos began to arise. Violence and riots made it difficult to integrate a large number of black students, making only nine students able to attend a Little Rock High School. In her compelling autobiography, Warriors Don’t Cry, Melba Pattillo Beals wrote everything from her aspirations of life to her darkest experiences during this tumultuous time. In just the tenth grade Melba volunteered to become one of the few black students to attend Little Rock’s Central High School the following year despite not knowing what she was getting herself into or how she would grow from her experience. The innocent young woman soon became known as one member of the “Little Rock Nine,” experiencing countless numbers of death threats and many physical attacks during the integration process. Although integration deprived Melba of a “normal” teenage life, this young woman uses her experiences at Central High School to become a warrior, fighting against racial hatred and discrimination toward a world of racial equality.
The United States army played a key factor in helping Melba survive. Integration into Central High School, caused high tensions as white on black violence intensified. At first, mobs successfully intimidated the students from going to the previously all-white school. However on orders from the president, the 101st airborne soldiers of the U.S. army intervened for the blacks’ safety. She had her own bodyguard, named Danny. On one occasion, a boy threw acid in Melbas face, she experienced “sudden pain…I thought I’d die…cold liquid was splashed in my...

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