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‘Warriors Don’t Cry’ by Melba Pattillo Beals is a true story based around the discriminatory events in Little Rock, Arkansas. Melba and eight of her other friends risk their lives on September 25, 1957, as they decide to integrate into an all-white school. They face extreme racism when once enrolled in the school; people would call them threatening to bomb their homes, they would be threatened in the hallways at the school, and would be screamed at while walking down the halls. The issue was so severe that the Screaming Eagles 101st Airborne had been issued to walk the halls with them for protection. Through all the insane hardships that the nine faced, Melba and the others still continued to attend the school in hopes of changing the oppression that they were facing. This story inspires and encourages not only African Americans but anyone in the face of discrimination or inequality to stand up for themselves and their beliefs.

‘Warriors Don’t Cry’ was given this title to describe the way the nine people lived their lives out during the discriminatory actions they faced. Beals wrote, “You’ll make this your last cry. You’re a warrior on the battlefield for your Lord. God’s warriors don’t cry, ’cause they trust that he’s always by their side” (Beals, 44-45). In the book, Grandma India is saying this to Melba. Grandma India can see the hardships that Melba is facing and realizes that she needs to be toughened in order to overcome this; she recognizes that these trials will not vanish anytime soon, so the best course of action would be to stand strong in her faith and fight for her beliefs. This quote not only shows the strength that Melba had to endure at a young age but also shows the eternal faith that was established in Melba by her family. ‘Warriors Don’t Cry’ is a metaphor for the nine people who fought for their freedom. Melba’s faith in God gave her the strength to persevere through all the trials that life threw her way and come out of the other side even stronger. Melba also stated, “I pause to look up at this massive school—two blocks square and seven stories high, a place that was meant to nourish us and prepare us for adulthood. But because we dared to challenge the Southern tradition of segregation, this school became, instead, a furnace that consumed our youth and forged us into reluctant warriors” (Beals, 20). This exhibits that Melba and the other eight had lost their youth causing them to become warriors. They had to stand up for their religious belief that God created all men and women equal and that what matters comes from the heart, not the color of your skin. In the lecture, we learned about the Greensboro ‘sit-in’ of 1960, where African American college students sat down at a whites-only diner. After being denied service, they refused to move to fight for their rights and freedoms. These two events show the strength and courage of people in discriminated roles to stand firm in their beliefs. True warriors don’t lose faith and they don’t back down, even if the fight is unfair.

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Personal responsibility and social responsibility can be drawn from reading ‘Warriors Don’t Cry’. It is shown to readers that everyone should be aware of their civic responsibility; we should all stand up for each other no matter where we are from, what traditions we hold, what religion we believe in, the color of our skin, and more. God created everyone in his image and perfect in their own way. It is your responsibility to include and love everyone equally. If you do something to hurt someone, you should always apologize, accept the consequences of your actions, and learn from your mistakes so you do not make them again. We need to make sure that everyone is included and has equal freedoms because we do not want to ever face trials, like the ones from ‘Warriors Don’t Cry’ and Greensboro ‘sit-in’, ever again.

‘Warriors Don’t Cry’ shows us the bravery and fearlessness that African Americans had to endure to change the future and stop the discrimination they were facing. We should all stand up for ourselves and our beliefs when faced with hardships. The God of the universe created us all equal, so we should live confidently knowing that we are all made perfectly in our own way.

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