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Coming Of Age In Missippi

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Coming of age in Mississippi

This book is split up into four different sections. It starts off with a little girl named Essie Mae, talking about her childhood and the experiences she went through, the book goes on to talk about her high school experience, her college experience and the experiences she had throughout the movement she had joined supported. This book should how Essie Mae went through life and how she grew up, overcame obstacles and pushed through the problems to get where she wanted to go in life.

Essie Mae throughout her childhood was pretty shelter to the world of discrimination and the difference between white people and black people. She knew there was a difference but she didn’t know why and to what extent. In the beginning those problems were not on her mind as much as her family problems were. She was too busy dealing with her mothers being sad and her father leaving there family for another woman, dealing with an uncle who watched her and was nothing but mean to her, and focusing on her school work, grades and basketball.. These larger problems didn’t seem to be a part of her child hood. The first time race sparked her mind was when another uncle who she loved by the name of uncle Ed took her to her grandmothers house. She had wanted to meet her uncles Walter and Sam when she arrived and finally met them she didn’t understand why they were white and their mother was black. This is when Essie Mae starts to ask questions. During her childhood she works for many different white women who all treat her pretty well they all treat her as an equal for the most part. This is another reason why Essie Mae never seems to be exposed to the problems with race and equality, she has always been accepted by the white people she has come into contact with. Essie Mae was one of the smartest girls in her class, she was also well liked by all of her classmates as well. She had a lot going on in her life right before she was to graduate and go onto high school. She was named homecoming queen, her name had been changed to Annie, she was getting ready to move and try to find work earning more money.

It is not until high school that she is introduced to the NAACP. Essie Mae was always asking questions but her mother would never answer them. Mrs. Rice was the only one who would educate Essie Mae about the white people and how they treated black people. Essie Mae came to find out a lot about the horrible way blacks were treated and she was in shock because she hadn’t known about any of this before. She had heard about Emmet tills death, her classmate jerry getting beaten, and the Taplin family getting burnt up in their house. Essie Mae had moved back and forth to and from New Orleans and Centreville looking for work, she was always wanted and needing for money. Essae Mae saved money every time she was paid. She was saving for college, she was determined to get out of Centreville and go to college. When living in Centreville she worked for a woman by the name of Mrs. Burke who she was scared of and wasn’t very fond of. She tutored her boy Wayne and Essie Mae didn’t understand why Mrs. Burke didn’t want them hanging out until she hearing about integrating and people having sexual relationships with other races, that’s when she realized why Mrs. Burke



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