I will not Fear by Melba Beals recounts the author's experiences as one of the Little Rock nine, a single mother, and as a ground breaking journalist.
The narrative is open, honest, and heart wrenching as Beals invites readers into the life and realities of the girl behind the news reports. At heart, Beals is a storyteller who infuses humanity back into the headlines. I was already familiar with the nine students in Little Rock who were chosen to desegregate the student population but the wisdom and care Beals takes to tell her story and highlight the memories she's chosen to share takes the events and places them back into their human context with all the emotion, doubt, and reality that was facing the students and families that lived through that time.
As a reader, I also appreciated Beals way of summarizing each story, each lesson, into a truth she learned about faith and/or God at the end of each chapter. The statement served to add another layer to the previous story and allows readers to assume the viewpoint the author held when conveying her message.
This is definitely a book I could see being worked into a homeschooling curriculum as Beals story covers such a wide array of topics from the historical events at Little Rock and the fallout of that first year to her career in journalism, to the lessons of faith she has developed over a lifetime, to the experiences of racism both overt and subtle she has faced with grace over the years.
While at times the material may feel repetitive, I felt that adds credibility as the story feels like someone sharing and processing their memories, a process that is rarely clean and straightforward.
4 out of 5 stars
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."