March Forward, Girl
— From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine
Long before she was one of the Little Rock Nine, Melba Pattillo Beals was a warrior. Frustrated by the laws that kept African-Americans separate but very much unequal to whites, she had questions. Why couldn’t she drink from a “whites only” fountain? Why couldn’t she feel safe beyond home—or even within the walls of the church? Adults all told her: Hold your tongue. Be patient. Know your place. But Melba had the heart of a fighter—and the knowledge that her true place was a free one.
But what makes one little girl stand up against the injustice around her? With powerful documentation of her early journey, March Forward, Girl—an ardent and profound childhood memoir of growing up in the Jim Crow South—seeks to answer that question. And to prove that a single young person’s actions truly can change the world. Melba Pattillo Beals is a champion for equal rights, an acclaimed journalist, author of the million-copy bestseller Warriors Don’t Cry, and the recipient of this country’s highest recognition, the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
March Forward Girl has received a “star” review from Publishers’ Weekly, only awarded to books of exceptional quality.
“A valuable addition to the stories of life in Jim Crow America.” — Kirkus Reviews