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 naïve 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...
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