by Sandy Kirby Quandt
I Will Not Fear, is Dr. Melba Pattillo Beals’ account of her life beginning in September 1957 when at age fifteen she and eight other African American students, known as the Little Rock Nine, integrated the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas under the protection of the 101st Airborne unit of the United States Army. An event she states would become the foundation for a lifetime of sustaining faith and trust in God. Even after her Grandma India died in October 1958, her words of faith flowed through Melba’s life. Words she drew strength from time and time again. This is a story of building faith under fire.
The beginning of the book details threats from the Ku Klux Klan, angry white mobs, threats of lynching, physical and mental abuse, acid in her eyes, raw eggs on her head, flag points piercing her back, flyers offering $10,000 if dead; $5,000 if alive. She also describes how in her senior year of high school she was sent to California to live with a Quaker family to save her life.
I Will Not Fear mentions her marriage, daughter’s birth, her divorce, the struggles of being a single mother, and adopting twin boys after she age 50. It mentions her jobs as a public television journalist, news reporter, television broadcaster, talk show host, author, professor, and public relations businesswoman.
Within the pages of this book were many, many instances of terror, oppression, prejudice and persecution. But the theme throughout I Will Not Fear is the fact God is always available when we call for help, and is as close as our skin.
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Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.
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