Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Melba Beals's Warriors Don’t Cry. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Warriors Don’t Cry: Introduction
Warriors Don’t Cry: Plot Summary
Warriors Don’t Cry: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Warriors Don’t Cry: Themes
Warriors Don’t Cry: Quotes
Warriors Don’t Cry: Characters
Warriors Don’t Cry: Terms
Warriors Don’t Cry: Symbols
Warriors Don’t Cry: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Melba Beals
Historical Context of Warriors Don’t Cry
Other Books Related to Warriors Don’t Cry
- Full Title: Warriors Don’t Cry: The Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High School
- When Written: 1957-1994. The account is based on diaries that Beals kept while at Central High, as well as press clippings that she and her family collected.
- Where Written: Little Rock, Arkansas and San Francisco, California
- When Published: 1994
- Literary Period: 20th-century African-American Literature
- Genre: Nonfiction; Memoir
- Setting: Little Rock, Arkansas
- Climax: Melba tries to enter Central High School and is confronted by violent segregationists. She watches while Elizabeth Eckford, another member of the Little Rock Nine, faces the huge, angry crowd alone.
- Antagonist: Little Rock segregationists; racism
- Point of View: First-person
Extra Credit for Warriors Don’t Cry
Johnny Mathis. Beals notes that in August of 1957, Johnny Mathis, a popular African-American singer in the 1950s, had his first hit with “Chances Are.” Mathis, along with Nat King Cole, is one of the singers from the era whom Beals admires. Two years later, Mathis performed on Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, a variety show. He and Boone, a white man, sang “Peace on Earth” side-by-side on the air, at Boone’s insistence, despite the threat of opposition from Southern Chevrolet sponsors.
Bill Clinton and Hope, Arkansas. Beals went back to Central High in 1987 to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the school’s desegregation. Arkansas Governor and future President Bill Clinton, whom she refers to as “Billy Clinton,” was there to greet her and the other members of the Little Rock Nine. Clinton is a native of Hope, Arkansas where, in June 1958, Judge Harry J. Lemley issued a judgment in the Aaron v. Cooper case allowing for a temporary end to integration at Central High. His decision was later overturned by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.