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3.06.2018

I Will Not Fear ~ Review

I Will Not Fear 
My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith Under Fire
by Melba Pattillo Beals

Sometimes it is hard to realize just how short a time ago we had such a segregated country. When one doesn't live through an event it feels farther away than it truly is. But the hatred and tyranny that Melba had to face just to have a chance at equality is truly unimaginable to me. I went to a school that had a well-balanced mix of students of every color and color had no bearing on my choice of friends. But sixty years ago this was not an expectation one had in the segregated South. 

Melba's fight for equality and fair treatment though began before her birth as her Grandmother India fought through persistence to get her delivery to be allowed within the walls of a white hospital. But her fight didn't end with her graduation from high school but rather continued on to her higher educational endeavors and her fight for acceptance into the world of journalism as both a woman and a person of color.

There are moments of heartbreak and moments of joy and triumph that will touch the heart of the reader. And the sustaining force in Melba'a life was the faith that her grandmother shared with her. A faith that allowed her to go forth each day into what could be her last. A faith that sustained her as she raised her children and struggled to keep them safe in a world that was a dangerous as the one she negotiated as a teenager.

I highly recommend this book for those who want to see faith in action in the face of a fallen and hate-filled world. This is not light reading and each chapter should be taken in slowly and thoughtfully so as to have the greatest impact on the reader's own life. This would make an excellent book club choice and be a good addition to the shelf of any library - public, school or personal.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher Revell with no expectations of a positive review ~ all opinions expressed are my own.
About the Book:
In 1957, Melba Beals was one of the nine 
African American students chosen to integrate 
Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

But her story of overcoming didn't start--or end--there.

While her white schoolmates were planning their senior prom, Melba was facing the business end of a double-barreled shotgun, being threatened with lynching by rope-carrying tormentors, and learning how to outrun white supremacists who were ready to kill her rather than sit beside her in a classroom. Only her faith in God sustained her during her darkest days and helped her become a civil rights warrior, an NBC television news reporter, a magazine writer, a professor, a wife, and a mother.

In I Will Not Fear, Beals takes you on an unforgettable journey through terror, oppression, and persecution, highlighting the kind of faith we all need to survive in a world full of heartbreak and anger. She shows how the deep faith we develop during our most difficult moments is the kind of faith that can change our families, our communities, and even the world.

Encouraging and inspiring, her story offers hope that faith is the solution to the pervasive hopelessness of our current culture.