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Anne Moody's Coming of Age in Mississippi

Coming of Age in Mississippi is actually a thinly disguised biography of African American author Anne Moody. The work is a depiction of two decades in the life of an intelligent, hard-working, athletic, and accomplished girl who becomes a woman. In so doing she overcomes many struggles, from the challenges of poverty and violence to the impositions of abandonment and racism. From the time she is four to the time she is twenty-four, MoodyÆs attempts to change the injustice about her see her grow from a nanve and idealistic girl into a woman with her own identity and ideas of how society should function.

MoodyÆs story begins as a small girl, one of many children of impoverished plantation workers in Canton, Mississippi. Early on Moody experienced the violence around her, abused by her own relatives. The burdens of hard labor and poverty were commonplace. Eventually her father would escape the burdens through alcohol, gambling, and adultery and abandon the family. At one point, a cousin who watched over Anne and her sister set the house on fire and blamed it on Anne. Despite this environment, Anne excelled at school and was a naturally skilled athlete. She made the most of these talents and was crowned homecoming queen and eventually won a basketball scholarship to Natchez Junior College. Disliking the meager surroundings there, Anne eventually went down to Tougaloo College in Jackson to finish her education. Education played a vital role in AnneÆs eventual involvement with the SNCC, CORE and NAACP. Anne faced resistance from her mother when she began to become involved in NAACP activities. African American women of her motherÆs era feared making a ôsceneö, knowing from experience it would only send more enmity and violence their way. As Moody (1968) revealed of her motherÆs letter in response to one informing her of her NAACP involvement, ôShe ended her letter by saying that s


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Anne Moody's Coming of Age in Mississippi. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:32, August 03, 2020, from