A Message From Academic Affairs
The Augie Reads Selection Committee is pleased to announce that Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals is the 2008-2009 title for the first year summer reading.
A member of the Little Rock Nine, Beals compellingly tells the story of these courageous students through the lens of her own experience--why they volunteered to be the first black students in an all-white school, what kept them going in the face of unrelenting physical and mental harassment, and how the experience affected their entire lives. In clear, composed prose, Beals describes her mother and grandmother’s belief in what she was doing and how their support strengthened her resolve, and one white student’s help in the face of other students’ dangerous plans to sabotage the integration. Readers experience a “you were there” feeling as Beals tells her story using her journal as well as newspaper articles she clipped and saved during the experience . As the reader’s anguish increases, so does Beals’ superhuman courage and dignity. You can’t help but revere this brave young girl.
Although many of our students may be horrified to learn about this episode in American history—50 years ago—similar episodes occur today, such as the Jena Six event in Louisiana this very year. Issues the book raises include racism, affirmative action, faith, community, courage, protest, family, and vocation. We believe that the book will be engaging for first-year students and applicable to many areas of the first year program and to other courses throughout the college curriculum.
Augie Reads Selection Committee
Mari Rogal, Chair