Every once in a while I read a book that enrages and deeply grieves me. For me, this book was that. But it was also so much more. It was a story of faith that perseveres in the darkest of circumstances and of a hope grounded in more than just man alone.
In her challenging and inspiring book, “I Will Not Fear,” author Melba Pattillo Beals shares with us a small glimpse into some of the heartache and persecution she has faced throughout the years. In 1957, Melba was one of the nine African American students who were chosen to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The story continues throughout her life as a news reporter, wife, mother, magazine writer, and professor; highlighting the oppression she has faced in everyday life and countering it with an unwavering hope.
I was not familiar with the history of Little Rock, Arkansas and I was immediately gripped by the power of the author’s personal testimony. Her first-hand account is both powerful and thought-provoking and I walked away with a heart that ached but was also equally inspired by her words.
This is definitely not an easy book to read. Sprayed out across the pages is tangible evidence of the anger and hurt-filled world in which we live. It is heartbreaking and honest and oh-so-relevant for today’s generations. It’s not easy to read a first-hand account of such hatred and anguish but I think it’s important to hear, remember, and learn from. Melba’s attitude throughout her life is one of trust in God above, faith in more than man-alone, and a bold and courageous strength to stand up for what is right. This is an incredible encouragement for how we chose to live out our own lives too.
I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. It wasn’t by any means an easy read, but it is, I believe, an important one. Melba is a civil rights warrior who has grounded her life in God alone, and that is such a beautiful contrast to the darkness and pain of her story.
I highly recommend giving this book a read.
**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.**