Analysis of Anne Moody's Coming of Age in Mississippi Essay

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Analysis of Anne Moody's Coming of Age in Mississippi

Anne Moody’s Coming of Age in Mississippi is a narrated autobiography depicting what it was like to grow up in the South as a poor African American female. Her autobiography takes us through her life journey beginning with her at the age of four all the way through to her adult years and her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. The book is divided into four periods: Childhood, High School, College and The Movement. Each of these periods represents the process by which she “came of age” with each stage and its experiences having an effect on her enlightenment. She illustrates how important the Civil Rights Movement was by detailing the economic, social, and racial injustices
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. . When I asked her (Mama) who killed the man and why, she said, ‘An Evil Spirit killed him. You gotta be a good girl or will kill you too.’ So since I was seven, I had lived in fear of that ‘Evil Spirit.’” She became very upset and feared “being killed just because I was black. This was the worst of my fears.” Moody eventually comes to learn about the NAACP and what they stood for, that this organization is trying to help improve the situation for African Americans like her. Unfortunately, when she tried to ask her mother about this she does not get any answers. Instead, her mother gets upset with her and asks her to never mention it around any white person. Moody felt frustrated that all these years that she had been sheltered from the truth and she felt dumb for never having opened her eyes to all the horror.

Anne Moody joined her first NAACP chapter while attending one of the best African American colleges in the state, Tugaloo College. She became so engrossed in the movement that her grades began to drop. This did not seem to bother her much, though, for she finally started to feel that something could be done to change the relationship between whites and African Americans. During Moody’s senior year in college she became so heavily involved with the Civil Rights Movement by giving speeches and participating in demonstrations. On one occasion, she got arrested for her participation and is jailed along with several other students. She

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