Moody, Anne (1968). Coming Of Age In Mississippi. New York, NY: Dell Publishing
The end of World War II marked the effective beginning of the Civil Rights movement. Age-old traditions and belief systems would be challenged, fought and eventually torn down over the next few decades. The warriors that led these attacks, however, were usually born of extremely humble beginnings. Wilkinson County, Mississippi was such a place, and it is there that the improbable story of a giant force in the history of Civil Rights would start.
A child of poor sharecroppers working for a white farmer, Anne Moody was born in Centerville on Sept 15, 1940. Throughout her childhood, she learned the bitter realities of poverty prejudice and survival. Her first job, at age nine, paid 75 cents and two gallons of milk per week. At age 15, "I began to hate peopleaI hated all whites who were responsible for the countless murdersabut I also hated Negroes. I hated them for not standing up and doing something about the murders" (Moody, 1968, p. 129). These and other experiences would set the guidelines for the rest of her life. She attended Natchez Junior College and finished her education at Tougaloo College. Her matriculation began with organizing a boycott against unsanitary cafeteria conditions, and continued with her involvement with organizations such as the SNCC and the NAACP that promoted equal rights for Blacks. By the time she graduated, she was deep into "the movement" that would challenge one of the fundamental principles upon which Western Civilization has rested: the ideology and instutionalization of white supremacy.
By the late 1960's, the Civil Rights movement had seen great successes along with bitter defeats. Significant anti-discrimination legislation had been passed, but in the view of many Civil Rights activists, society had not changed enough. The Civil Right movement was trending toward the more militant stance epitomized by Malcolm X...