I Will Not Fear

Reviewed by: Alyssa Roat, a professional writing major at Taylor University.



TitleI Will Not Fear

AuthorMelba Pattillo Beals


Publication Date2018

FormatPrint book

Length200 pages


    This book is the personal testimony and autobiography of Melba Pattillo Beals, one of the Little Rock Nine who helped integrate Central High School during the Civil Rights Movement. She recounts her life from her time at Central High, through her days as a reporter, wife, professor, and right up to her present days as the mother of grown children and a working freelance writer. Each chapter records how God has been with her in every stage of her life, whether she was facing mobs in Little Rock, racial prejudice in the newsroom, or robbers threatening her children. At the end of each chapter, she shares a brief devotional-style spiritual word of encouragement relating to the content of the chapter.

     Beals lived a life filled with excitement and did so while trusting in the Lord. Her story is inspiring. However, the blending of political analysis, autobiography, and devotions becomes jumbled at times and hard to follow. The reader will settle in for a devotional lesson, only to find it changing to a biographical memory. Furthermore, the tale jumps around in time within chapters, as well as from chapter to chapter. There is no standard sequence of events, just sporadic flashbacks. A reader may often be confused whether an anecdote is taking place back in the ‘50s, the ‘70s or the ‘90s. Finally, it is worth noting that the majority of the story takes place long after the integration of Central High School, and that isn’t always evident in the description.

     Despite this, the book is interesting from an historical perspective and as a testimony. Overall, it provides an intimate glimpse into Beals’ life and offers evidence that God is always with His people.


Rating (1 to 5)

3 stars

Suggested Audience

This is suggested for a general audience, or more specifically for those interested in the Civil Rights Movement or suffering due to racial or gender discrimination.

Christian Impact

Beals reminds readers that God is always near to those who love Him.

Other Notes:

Beals paints her divorce as a positive decision, which may be controversial for some readers.


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I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith Under Fire

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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