We invite you to participate in the Region III book club discussion and tour! Given the location of the conference, we thought it appropriate to educate ourselves about the “Little Rock Nine.” We chose the autobiography of one of the Nine, Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals.

We will grab lunch to discuss the book and then take a tour of Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. Make plans to join us from 12:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 28, or Wednesday, October 31. Sign up for each day is limited so be sure to sign up today!

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About the Book

About the Little Rock Nine and our book, excerpt courtesy of Encyclopedia of Arkansas:

Melba Pattillo Beals made history as a member of the Little Rock Nine, the nine African-American students involved in the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The world watched as they braved constant intimidation and threats from those who opposed desegregation of the formerly all-white high school. She later recounted this harrowing year in her book titled Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Desegregate Little Rock’s Central High School.

While attending all-black Horace Mann High School in Little Rock, she knew her educational opportunities were not equal to her white counterparts’ opportunities at Central High. In response to this inequality, Pattillo volunteered to transfer to the all-white Central High School with eight other black students from Horace Mann and Dunbar Junior High School. The Little Rock Nine, as they came to be known, faced daily harassment from white students.

Beals later recounted that the soldier assigned to protect her instructed her, “In order to get through this year, you will have to become a soldier. Never let your enemy know what you are feeling.” Beals took the soldier’s advice, and, while the rest of the school year remained turbulent, all but one student, Minnijean Brown, was able to finish the school year.

Additional Reading Suggestions

  • A Mighty Long Way – Carlotta Walls Lanier
  • Lessons from Little Rock – Terrence Roberts
  • Bitters in the Honey – Beth Roy
  • The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High – Elizabeth A Eckford (children’s book)


For questions or more information, please email Jane Thiele (thiele[at]uoregon.edu) and Laura Moix (lmoix[at]]uark.edu).