Coming of Age in Mississippi

Category: History

Coming of age in Mississippi is a book by Anne Moody that covers a period of nineteen years when Anne was four years old, until when she was twenty-three. The witnessing by Moody is mainly an act a view of the evolution of the civil rights movement.

The blacks at the time when Anne Moody was a teenager were suppressed by a lot of ways by the whites that include violence. One sees that in the book, violence was prevalent from the murder of Emmett Till. The use of violence can also be seen when Anne is scared of joining the NAACP since she knew that by doing so, like many others before her, not only her life was in danger but also her family's well being would be threatened. We also see that when Ann joined the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) through her roommate, the fact that they were oppressed using violence is clear since they were paid very minimal wages and their offices were bombed several times so as to suppress them.

The blacks when Anne was a teenager were not only oppressed by violence but were also oppressed economically in that they were underpaid. We can see that as per the case of Anne for the work that she was doing, she was only paid ten dollars a week. We see that is by pay of such wages that ensured that the blacks would not be able to afford to pay the tax that was required to vote therefore leaving the whites to be in power which meant that they would continue enjoying power.

The whites also maintained supremacy by ensuring that whenever the blacks tried to fight for their rights, they would be discouraged by making them suffer psychologically. An example is how when the blacks went out to protest, they were smeared with all sorts of things and their backs spray painted with words such as "Nigger".

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One of the things that always made the whites continue to spread supremacy over the black community was the fact that the blacks were self-policing in that they were consoling themselves of how they were being treated both psychologically and financially as they compared themselves to times when they were not paid and were treated even worse.

As a civil rights activist, Ann was involved in the many activities that included fighting for equal rights for the blacks and not better ones as compared to their present ones and she was also involved in the activities of educating her fellow members of the black community on issues that were of their concern such as their right to vote. The blacks were refusing to vote because they one of the main misconceptions that were being spread at the time were that the blacks were not supposed to vote because it was something that was only meant for the whites.

By the sentences, "I wonder, I really do wonder", Anne Moody tries to imply the fact that even though the movement has achieved great accomplishments, it can only but achieve more, in the sense that people were willing to settle for better as compared to what they really deserved.

As a result of frustration with Martin Luther King juniors' ways, Anne moody took part in the action as opposed to speech that King always preferred. She had grown frustrated with the lack of progress of the movements. She, in turn, participated in the Woolworth luncheon sit-in that led to the disintegration at the lunch counter and she also took part in the march on Washington where King gave the "I have a dream" speech in front of many.