Book Review Of Coming Of Age In Mississippi By Anne Moody

2004 Words9 Pages

Jiuqi Wang
Prof. Mark Hendrickson
May 25th, 2018
A True Civil Rights Fighter—Anne Moody
Looking at the history of the United States, racial issues have always existed in almost every historical event. It is still a matter of great concern to people that today’s racial issues still remain. Thousands of people are striving for racial equality and many people gave their precious lives for it. Martin Luther King Jr. has said, “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace”. In the book, Coming of Age in Mississippi, Anne Moody described his own growth process in Mississippi from the first perspective. As a child of African American, …show more content…

In the book, Moody’s mother talks to her, “Just do your work like you don't know nothing” (Moody 132). The death of Emmett Till terrifies Mississippi's African American teenagers. But her mother urges her to pretend she hasn't heard about it, for her own safety. This warning shows how Moody both craves knowledge of current events and fears what this knowledge might mean for her. Moreover, Moody begins to "hate people" when she is 15 years old. Moody hates the murderous Southern whites, but she also hates the African Americans even more for not standing up for themselves. African American men, especially, she considers “cowards” for treating white men with servile respect. When African American people accept injustice and hate, Moody feels, they perpetuate their own oppression. When they act subservient to white people, they reinforce the idea Jim Crow laws are acceptable. The older Moody gets the more Moody learns African American Southerners often perform rituals of respect in order to survive, and suffer permanent consequences if they speak up for themselves. But the alternative, Moody thinks, is no kind of life to live. Moreover, Moody writes in the book, “I was sick of pretending, sick of selling my feelings for a dollar a day” (Moody 147). This statement shows Moody realizing her dignity is more important than her earning potential. Moody knows her employment could keep her family alive. But she needs to keep her soul alive, too. After the crimes she's seen in Centreville, she finds it impossible to work for the perpetrators. Moody will either have to keep “pretending” or disrupt the town's way of life. Finally, Moody made up her mind of what she would be, “Little by little it was getting harder and harder for me not to speak out” (Moody 163). This displays a turning point in Anne's psychological

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