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Warriors Don't Cry (SparkNotes Literature Guide)

Warriors Don't Cry (SparkNotes Literature Guide)

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Warriors Don't Cry (SparkNotes Literature Guide)

41 pages
29 minutes
Aug 12, 2014


Warriors Don't Cry (SparkNotes Literature Guide) by Melba Patillo Beals
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Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes is a new breed of study guide: smarter, better, faster.   Geared to what today's students need to know, SparkNotes provides:   *Chapter-by-chapter analysis
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Aug 12, 2014

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Warriors Don't Cry (SparkNotes Literature Guide) - SparkNotes

Warriors Don’t Cry

Melba Patillo Beals

© 2003, 2007 by Spark Publishing

This Spark Publishing edition 2014 by SparkNotes LLC, an Affiliate of Barnes & Noble

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without prior written permission from the publisher.

Sparknotes is a registered trademark of SparkNotes LLC

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ISBN-13: 978-1-4114-7825-1

Please submit changes or report errors to www.sparknotes.com/.

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Plot Overview

Character List

Analysis of Major Characters

Themes, Motifs, and Symbols

Important Quotations Explained

Key Facts


Melba Patillo Beals was born on December 7, 1941, in Little Rock, Arkansas, on the same day that Japanese troops bombed the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor (now called Pearl Harbor Day). The first-born child of Lois and Will Patillo, Beals was born with a scalp infection, which caused significant complications. Her health was further compromised by the fact that she was African American; white nurses and doctors did very little to help her. Luckily, Beals’s mother spoke to a janitor who had overheard a doctor recommending Epsom salts to clean the infection. Beals’s mother got the Epsom salts, and Beals survived.

At the time that Beals was born, black and white people in many parts of America (especially the southern states) lived in a legally segregated society. After the Civil War, the Jim Crow Laws were put into place to thwart the advancement of black people, and during the time that Beals was a child, these laws severely restricted the rights of black people. Beals’s mother was a teacher, and her father worked for the railroad. Though they were better off than many other blacks in Arkansas, they were still subject to the same injustices as the rest of their community. As Beals describes in this book, most black people lived in constant fear of making white people angry and facing brutal, violent retaliation for even the smallest offense. For example, Beals witnessed her father stand powerless as the milkman sexually harassed her mother. Yet Beals’s mother, Lois, fought through the prejudices at the University of Arkansas and managed to

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