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"Warriors Don't Cry". Essay

2340 words - 9 pages

Segregation: A story of the past or the present?"I felt proud and sad at the same time. Proud that I lived in a country that would go this far to bring justice to a Little Rock girl like me, but sad that they had to go to such great lengths. Yes, this is the United States, I thought to myself. There is a reason why I salute the flag" (Beals 132). The flag of our country represents freedom and equality, which suggests that everyone in the United States is free and equal. In the novel Warriors Don't Cry, the author, Melba Pattillo Beals, clearly proves that all people are not treated with freedom and equality. The novel takes place in Little Rock, Arkansas during the late 1950s, a time when the promise of the American flag did not apply to African Americans. It is the story of nine black students attempting to end segregation in schools by integrating to a white high school. During their struggle to receive equal education, they are continually harassed and abused by their peers. In the end, only three of the nine students graduate from the white school; a minimal result compared to the struggle put forth. This is one account where it is proven the path through segregation is not an easy one.The struggle through segregation is not solely centered on school integration as presented in Warriors Don't Cry, but it is the starting point. Forced to be divided, many blacks were familiar with being separated from the white race. One family challenged the Supreme Court case Plessy vs. Ferguson with its "separate but equal" policy, by demanding their daughter to be able to attend school with whites. The daughter's court case known as Brown vs. Board of Education, overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson and decided that "separate but equal" was unconstitutional. This decision sparked the United States. Suddenly blacks everywhere were doing all they could to be treated equally as whites. Whites were furious about the Supreme Court's decision and were doing all they could to resist. The true results of segregation began to surface. This paper will address the way segregation impacts the people; from the violence created from it, to the fact that little efforts have been made to stop it and finally comparing segregation in the past to segregation presently. Ultimately concluding that segregation greatly impacts the lives of people in negative ways and though a struggle was made to correct this, segregation of races still currently exists today.Hate crimes and violence are formed directly from the segregation of races. People are not comfortable with change and differences so they do all that is necessary to resist modifications. In the novel Warriors Don't Cry the nine African American children from Little Rock are numerously hurt both physically and mentally by those defiant of desegregation. Often times the students go through so much trauma and harassment they wonder if they will leave the school day alive. "Suddenly I felt it--the sting of a hand slapping the side of...

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