Since human beings arrived on the planet Earth, there have been few cultures that lacked the one thing which has ultimately held our species back, prejudice. Throughout history, we see how millions upon millions of people have been killed simply because one group of people believed in a different God, came from another country, or simply had a different color of skin. Fortunately, human beings hold the ability to overcome prejudice through education and dialogue between different ethnic or racial groups. Unfortunately though, human beings have often preferred to take the path towards ignorance and bigotry. Throughout her autobiography, "Coming of Age in Mississippi," Anne Moody discusses how she was introduced to the harsh reality of a culture where individuals were unwilling to live together in peace and equality. Moody's story documents her life from her upbringing in rural Mississippi to her later involvement with the civil rights movements of the 1960's. In telling her story, Moody touches upon a number of different themes in order to convey certain points. One of the major themes found in the story deals with the notion that prejudice is not something people are born with, but a learned behavior. Two of the other main themes used discuss the disunity of African Americans to band together as well as a common theme which emphasized the power of determination and strength.
As she discusses her childhood in the first section of "Coming of Age in Mississippi," Moody illustrates the fact that people are not born to hate each other, but learn to hate because of a number of factors. In many cases, the path to prejudice begins by simply branding something as "different." An example of this used in the book is when Moody and her siblings arrived at the movie theater at the same time as their white friends, Katie and Bill. Not thinking anything of it, Essie, Adline, and Junior follow the white children into the "white lobby," only to find out that they were...
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