Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi (1968)

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(2) Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi (1968)

In the beginning I never really saw myself as a writer. I was first and foremost an activist in the civil rights movement in Mississippi. When I could no longer see that anything was being accomplished by our work there, I left and went North. I came back to see through my writing that no matter how hard we in the movement worked, nothing seemed to change; that we made a few visible little gains; yet at the root, things always remained the same; and that the movement was not in control of its destiny, nor did we have any means of gaining control of it. We were like an angry dog on a leash that had turned on its master. It could bark and howl and snap, and sometimes even bite, but the master was always in control. I realized that the universal fight for human rights, dignity, justice, equality, and freedom is not and should not be just the fight of the American Negro or the Indians or the Chicanos. It's the fight of every ethnic and racial minority, every suppressed and exploited person, everyone of the millions who daily suffer one or another of the indignities of the powerless and voiceless masses. And this trend of thinking is what finally brought about my involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, especially as it began to a splinter and get more narrowly nationalistic in its thinking. Anne Moody (born September 15 1940) is an African American author who has written about her experiences growing up poor and black in rural Mississippi, and then joining the Civil Rights Movement, which fought racism against blacks in the United States beginning in the 1950s. Born as Essie Mae Moody, she was the eldest of nine children of Fred and Elnire Moody. After her parents split up, she grew up with her mother in Centreville, Mississippi, while her father lived in nearby Woodville, Mississippi. At a young age she began working for whites in the area, cleaning their houses and helping their children with homework for only a few dollars a week. After graduating from a segregated, all black high school, she attended Natchez Junior College (also all black) in 1961 under a basketball scholarship. Then she moved on to Tougaloo College on an academic scholarship to get full degree. At Tougaloo she became involved with the Congress of Racial Equality, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. After graduating she became a full-time worker in the movement, participating in the Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in and the activity in Jackson, Mississippi. She later worked for CORE in the volatile town of Canton, Mississippi. Anne Moody is a well-known contemporary black native Mississippian author. She has written biographial novels depicting life in Mississippi and the struggles of black people in the South. Many people can relate to her style of writing. Her novels help people understood what life was like in the South before and during the civil rights movement. Anne Moody was born in Wilkinson County, Mississippi on September 15, 1940 to Fred and Elnire (Williams) Moody. She attended Natchez Junior College and completed her education at Tougaloo College. Moody married Austin Stratus and had one child named Sascha. In 1969, Anne's marriage ended in divorce. Anne's popular autobiography Coming of Age in Mississippi is set in her hometown of Centerville, Mississippi. Anne tells the story of her struggles and triumphs in this rural Mississippi town. She talks about racism from a child's perspective. Moody has never thought of herself as a writer, but rather as a civil rights activist. However, throughout Moody's life she has won many awards and honors for her literary accomplishments. Coming of Age in Mississippi received the Brotherhood Award from the National Council of Christians and Jews and the Best Book of the Year Award from the National Library Association, both in 1969. She also received the silver medal from...
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