Essay about Anne Moody's Autobiography Coming of Age in Mississippi

Essay about Anne Moody's Autobiography Coming of Age in Mississippi

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"I couldn't believe it, but it was the Klan blacklist, with my picture on it. I guess I must have sat there for about an hour holding it," says Moody in her autobiography Coming of Age in Mississippi. In Moody's response to the blacklist, one pervasive theme from her memoir becomes evident: though she participated in many of the same activist movements as her peers, Moody is separated from them by several things, chief among them being her ability to see the events of the 1960s through a wide, uncolored perspective (pun intended). Whereas many involved on either side of the civil rights movement became caught up in its objectives, Moody kept a level head and saw things as honestly as she could, even if it meant thinking negatively of her own family or even the movement itself. Moody describes an ample amount of examples throughout the book that illustrate this point, from the time when she was a child growing up on a plantation with the rest of her family, all the way up until she leaves New Orleans and boards a bus to Washington, D.C.
In Part 1 - Childhood
Early in the autobiography, the author describes her experience as a victim of racism in a particular moment in a local movie theater. Arriving at the theater at same time as her white friends, Moody and her siblings naturally follow them into the lobby – which was meant only for whites. Moody and her siblings are thrown out of the theater. Recalling the incident, Moody says "I never really thought of them [her friends] as white before. Now all of a sudden they were white, and their whiteness made them better than me." Moody's level-headedness and need to question the world around her is somewhat established at this moment, even at such a relatively young age. Indeed, Moo...


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...y white members of the community who oversee the process. To face such passivity and frustration, to meet danger head on and continue to work for the advancement of Civil Rights despite great personal risk, these traits distinguish Moody as someone with a large amount of bravery, compared to her peers.
Moody's autobiography Coming of Age in Mississippi is more than just the story of a young woman's transitions into adulthood. It is the chronicle of a young woman who refuses to sacrifice her self-respect, and sees things as they are not matter which side of the argument she falls on. The final words of her personal account mirror the frustration and unconditional skepticism that marked her views throughout the rest of the memoir. As she sits on the bus to Washington, DC listening to her friends singing, "We shall overcome," she responds: "I wonder. I really wonder."

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