Coming of Age In Mississippi


Anne Moody's "Coming of Age in Mississippi" was a good book for people who , just kidding . I found the book altogether insightful into the life of an African-American raised in the deep south during the civil rights movement . Although some parts played into the old stereotypes I heard over and over growing up , it did display a radical new breed for this period , a black , woman at that, fighting for her rights . It also gave us a look at what many sacrificied in order to acheive civil rights for all . I plan to explain the above statements more thoroughly throughout this paper . I believe this book acheived its goal of telling of one woman's struggle for her basic rights in a hostile environment .
This book begins with the life of its author . She starts out as basically a slave child on a farm in Mississippi . She tells of her parents lives , how they went to the fields at sun up and came back from them at sundown . She describes her abusive cousin , George Lee , and tells of a few traumatic childhood experiences . She goes on describing where her mother and fathers marital problems begin , which leads to their separation and her father moving in with another woman . This is where her hardships began . Throughout her childhood she is a tmid , poor little girl who is afraid to even ask her mother questions about what is going on around her . Anne tells of their staple diet , beans and bread , which was just enough to keep her alive. I can not possibly imagine what it is like to be on the brink of starvation. Although a timid , shy , little girl , Anne does show a spark of intensity through her schoolwork . She is very competitive and driven to do well in school . This is the fuel which that will later feed her fire to participate in the "Movement" . This want for an education is also a rather new trait for black women of her time . She is already a sort of radical as a child and does not even know it .
As she grows older her mother begins a relationship with a black man from town named Raymond . She talks of her mother being pregnant and her realizing of how babies are brought into the world . Anne describes her mother's mood swings and what I see as emotional depression while seeing Raymond and not living with him . Anne , her mother , brother , and sister eventually move into a house in town with Raymond , which he has built for them . This house seems like a mansion compared to what they had been living in . Throughout her late childhood and teenage years she tells about the jobs she had and the effect they had upon her . She talks of Mrs. Claiborne and Mrs. Johnson and how they encouraged her to learn . She also talks of the Jenkins , the young white family she worked for , and how Linda Jean treated her as an equal . And then there is Mrs. Burke who I believe was the first white whom Anne really had contempt for . Through working for her Anne learned how to be persistent in her actions therefore achieving her goal , in this case it was the freedom to do her work the way she wanted .
Through her high school years Anne becomes more and more aware of what is going on in the world around her . Her first realization of extreme racial violence was when she learned of Emmit Till's murder . Through learning of Emmit's death she also learns of groups such as the NAACP . One Sunday afternoon Anne sits down with Mrs. Rice and was told of the countless butchering of blacks by whites in the South . " I was fifteen years old when I began to hate people " , that is not only whites to which Anne is referring but also the blacks who let these acts of violence to continue happening .
During her junior year of high school Anne left home and went to live with her