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Anne Moody- Coming To Mississippi

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Anne Moody - Coming of Age in Mississippi

The autobiography Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody is the story of her life as a poor black girl growing into adulthood. Moody chose to start at the beginning - when she was four-years-old, the child of poor sharecroppers working for a white farmer. She overcomes obstacles such as discrimination and hunger as she struggles to survive childhood in one of the most racially discriminated states in America. In telling the story of her life, Moody shows why the civil rights movement was such a necessity and the depth of the injustices it had to correct. Moody's autobiography depicts the battle all southern African Americans faced. She had a personal mission throughout the entire book.

Anne Moody (born Essie Mae) was a very private person, and her withheld feelings often led to mental breakdowns. Throughout her childhood she is a timid, poor little girl who is afraid to even ask her mother questions about what is going on around her. Through most of her childhood experiences she learns the social significance of race and gender on her own because her mother avoids confronting the issue because she feels society cannot be changed. The first time Anne is really confronted with the issue of racial differences is when she makes friends with some white neighbors and goes to the movies with them. When arriving at the movies she learns that she cannot sit in the regular seats with the other white children. "After the movie incident... [I realized] all of a sudden they were white, and their whiteness made them better than me...their whiteness provided them with a pass to downstairs in that nice section and my blackness sent me to the balcony. Now that I was thinking about it, their schools, homes, and streets were better than mine," a naпve Moody contemplated to herself. Moody could not really respond to the situation as such a young girl, but the movie incident definitely opened up her eyes to a new outlook on life that she never saw.

Soon after Moody entered high school, Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old boy from Chicago, was killed for whistling at a white woman. After hearing about the murder, Moody realized she really did not know much about what was going on around her. "Before Emmett Till's murder, I had known the fear of hunger hell and the Devil but now there was a new fear known to me - the fear of being killed just because I was black." Moody's response to this was asking her high school teacher, Mrs. Rice, about Emmett's murder and the NAACP.

Moody was a very eager learner and constantly exceeded her classmates. She was an excellent student and though she far surpassed the performance of her white cousin, she was not considered to be equal, let alone superior. She did not let this affect her in any way. One word to describe Moody would be fighter, a fighter in what she believed to be fair and fighting to stand up for these beliefs. She always wanted to understand her surroundings and became very interested in the NAACP. Moody gets drawn into the fight for civil rights, knowing the challenge is incredibly difficult but knowing she has no other path to take. Unlike her mother and many African Americans, Moody was determined to fight the discrimination against blacks and become an active member of the NAACP. Her mother and other adults, as well as her peers, were too fearful to stand up for themselves and even criticized Moody for taking a stand. She did not accept



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