Satisfactory Essays
Novels are written for a variety of reasons. Some for entertainment and other for the purpose of being informative. Melba Pattillo Beals record of the details of the experience of integrating Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas is more the latter. Beals’ work allows audiences to look into the life of a student in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement as she attempts to integrate a high school in the South despite opposition from the white community.
Beals begins her novel with how she almost died as a baby because the doctors at the white hospital didn’t give her the care she needed because she’s black. Throughout her childhood she always wondered why her people weren’t treated the same as white people-why they had to step off the side walk for whites, why she couldn’t ride the merry-go-round in the park, and why they had to sit in the balcony of Robinson Auditorium. On the day the Supreme Court passed the Brown v. Board of Education decision her teacher let them out of school earlier and told them to go straight home and not to walk alone. She got separated from the group and a white man approached her. He was about to rape her when Marissa, a girl who had previously bullied Melba, saved her from the man and got her home safe. Later on Melba signed a paper saying she wanted to integrate Central High. Her family visited some relatives in Cincinnati where she saw that blacks were treated equally to whites. Her blissful trip came crashing down when her father called to say that Melba had been chosen to integrate Central High School and her family freaked out. When they got back Melba began meetings with the other students partaking in integration and the NAACP and receiving threatening phone calls. In the beginning of Sept...

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... people to be against what the nine students were doing so completely.
I don’t think I would be able to send my child into a violent or stressful environment even if it was for the greater social good. Parents always want to try to protect their children from harm which is why I don’t think I could put my child in a situation like that. I admire the support that Beals’ family gave her, except her father, but I can’t imagine doing that to my child. I would probably do what Beals’ mother did and offer to send them to live with family in a different part of the country once I saw what the situation was doing to my kid and how it was effecting every aspect of their life. I suppose it’s similar to how parents of people in the military feel. They have to trust that God is protecting their child just as Beals’ mother and grandmother had to do throughout the entire novel.
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