Interview with Melba Pattillo Beals
QUESTION 4
INTERVIEWER:

WITH THAT ACCIDENT OF FATE IN MIND, WHEN DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE ACCEPTED? HOW DID YOU FINALLY REALIZE THAT YOU WERE GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE THAT WAS GOING TO—[unintelligible]

Melba Pattillo Beals:

I was sitting in Cincinnati, Ohio with my mother on a couch and Walter Cronkite came on television and said, in late August, that Central High School was going to be integrated in Little Rock, Arkansas, that they were already beginning to have difficulty with the White Citizens Council [gap] the Ku Klux Klan, and that these were the children who were going and he mispronounced my name. My maiden name is Pattillo, and he said, these are the kids who were going and my mother said, "What did you say?" And that was it, my mother started making phone calls back. I was not involved in this. Then, you know, we came back to Little Rock and I began to be involved in the preparation that the NAACP was making to go to Central High School. but before that I had no real consciousness that I was going to go.