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Warriors Don't Cry
Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals, the author describes what her
reactions and feelings are to the racial hatred and discrimination she and eight
other African-American teenagers received in Little Rock, Arkansas during the
desegregation period in 1957. She tells the story of the nine students from the
time she turned sixteen years old and began keeping a diary until her final days
at Central High School in Little Rock. The story begins by Melba talking about
the anger, hatred, and sadness that is brought up upon her first return to
Central High for a reunion with her eight other classmates. As she walks through
the halls and rooms of the old school, she recalls the horrible acts of violence
that were committed by the white students against her and her friends. In 1954,
the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown vs. The Board of Education that
schools needed to integrate and provide equal education for all people and it
was unconstitutional for the state to deny certain citizens this opportunity.
Although this decision was a landmark case and meant the schools could no longer
deny admission to a child based solely on the color of their skin. By 1957, most
schools had began to slowly integrate their students, but those in the deep
south were still trying to fight the decision. One of the most widely known
instances of this happening was at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
It took the school district three years to work out an integration plan. The
board members and faculty didn't like the fact that they were going to have to
teach a group of students that were looked down upon and seen as
"inferior" to white students. However, after much opposition, a plan
was finally proposed. The plan called for the integration to happen in three
phases. First, during the 1957-1958 school year, the senior high school would be
integrated, then after completion at the senior high level, the junior high
would be integrated, and the elementary levels would follow in due time.
Seventeen students were chosen from hundreds of applicants to be the first black
teenagers to begin the integration process. The town went into an uproar. Many
acts of violence were committed toward the African-Americans in the city. Racism
and segregation seemed to be on the rise. Most black students decided to stay at
Horace Mann, the black high school that was underfunded and didn't boast a very
high graduation rate, let alone much of a college acceptance percentage. Some
out of fear and others just accepted the harsh and unfair circumstances. The
state and town passed laws and ordinances as the school year drew near in order
to keep the school from integrating. Even the state governor refused for the
desegregation process to happen without resistance. Some blacks also opposed the
desegregation for fear of future repercussions. The nine brave students,
however, refused to be stopped. On September 3, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green,
Jefferson Thomas, Minnijean Brown (Trickey), Carlotta Walls (LaNier), Terrence
Roberts, Gloria Ray (Karlmark), Thelma Mothershed-Wair, and Melba Patillo Beals
set off for school. The governor of Arkansas, Orvel Faubus, had sent National
Guardsmen to the school the previous day to surround the building and keep all
African-Americans from entering its doors. He stated in an interview that the
reason for the troops was he heard a rumor that white supremacists were going to
riot and he was just protecting the students. He declared Central High
off-limits to all people of color "in order for their own protection".
The students never did make it into school that day. Before they even reached
the property they were met with great resistance from racist citizens who spat
upon them, mocked them, threw sharp objects at them, and even physically beat
them. Melba describes the deep hurt she felt as for the first time in her life
she saw the harsh reality of racism at its worst. The next day the students met
with Daisy Bates, the head of the regional NAACP, and decided to all walk in
together. The problem was, Ms. Bates had tried to call all of the students but
one girl, Elizabeth Eckford, didn't own a phone. She never heard of the plan and
attempted to walk into the school herself. A mob of people surrounded her and
threatened to hang her all the while the Arkansas National Guard did nothing.
She escaped without injury but Beals and the others realized how serious of a
matter ... more
Find essay on Couple Is Engaged
the great depression
Social Sciences 121
March 21, 2001
The 1990 World Summit for children was a landmark, which was attended by 71 heads of state. It was a moment of great satisfaction and encouragement for all the international bodies engaged in their pursuit of making A world fit for children, when 71 heads of state pledged to eradicate polio, reduce infant mortality rate, eliminate the worst forms of child labor and promote vocational training for adolescents (Sandrasagara, 7).
There is a popular public opinion that the children should not be exposed to labor tasks including employment at an age, which demands their involvement in educational and recreational activities. The activities undertaken at child age contribute to their growth and development and undertaking labor task at this age is no less than a crime. However, mostly people express this opinion based on strong emotions and the complex factors contributing to this dilemma are not understood in their real background. These factors range from legal, social, political and economic aspects, which extend far beyond the strong emotions. A detailed, careful and empathetic analysis of these factors can lead us to understand the problems of child labor on an international horizon. Powerful legislation, its strict enforcement and the extent of its implementation across the board on an international scale can serve as a foundation in addressing this curse. International studies reveal the magnitude of the grave problem of child labor. A systematic estimate, undertaken in 1985 (Black 9), calculated around 31 million street children worldwide, of whom 71 percent were child workers living at home, 23 percent kept occasional family contact, and 8 percent were entirely separated.
The contributing factors to the child labor are limitless, however, the vital few factors are external debt, poverty, lack of appropriate infrastructure, economic crisis, and social and cultural environment. It is said that the information technology has greatly contributed in globalization and transforming the world into a global village. The irony of the situation is that everything in this world is globalizing except wealth and development. The Brettonwoods institutions i.e. IMF and the World Bank have to play a strong and unbiased role in ensuring that the seeds of growth and development are injected into the developing world. Although poverty is termed to be the main causal factor for child labor in the developing world, however, some studies have shown that some child workers are relatively from affluent families, and engage in the business for excitement and pocket money (Myers 9). This leads us to believe that merely addressing poverty in isolation will not help us to effectively eradicate the issue.
Institutionalization of the Social Sector
Additionally, it has been noted that since the 1990 World Summit for Children, there has been a relative decline in the child labor. A sense of awareness and, apart from legislation, the international pressure coupled with the ethical aspect has greatly contributed in discouraging the child work scenario in many countries. Another factor, which is of considerable importance in tackling the issue of child labor, is the lack of education. In developing countries, in particular, lack of institutionalization of the social sector, primarily that of education has also contributed to an upsurge in juvenile workers. One of the solutions is to initiate broad-based programs on education for all and this can be an agenda item for the international financial support and donors organizations. It is regrettable that these institutions emphasize on liberal economy with a lot of push on tariff structures, which are only symptoms. The root cause lies in the social, cultural and political areas, and very minimal emphasis, if not superficial, is laid on the development of infrastructure in the basic development fields.
Although, as discussed earlier, legislation exists in the international arena which require commitment from the countries who are represented on international forums, but strict enforcement and compliance is missing across the board.The declarations of the World Summit for Children in 1990 and the International Labor Organizations Minimum Age Convention in 1973 require that most of the countries are committed to eradicate child labor. The problem becomes complex when viewed in the light of varying factors contributing to it. The rate of unemployment is yet ... more
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