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Anne Moody

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The book Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody is the story of hope amidst the backdrop of oppression and racial discrimination especially prevalent in the Deep South.  It is the story of the author’s life that began in rural Mississippi during the 1940’s and ends in the 1960’s as young woman dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement.  The humble surroundings and depressed circumstances that Essie Mae Moody, her name would be changed later due to an error on her new birth certificate, endured were only a sampling of what the Negroes of the south experienced in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement.  Nonetheless, Moody’s words cut to the heart of the racial oppression that the black Americans suffered.  For instance, as a child of four, Moody and her infant sister had to be watched by her cousin who was only eight years old himself because both her mother and father had to work the fields from sun up to sun down.  The white families would not think of leaving such young children in the hands of a mere child himself.  Moody’s family as well as the other black families had no choice.   

Anne Moody

When Essie Mae joined the working world, she was forced to work for little pay for intimidating white folk.  Mrs. Burke, an ex-schoolteacher, was Essie Mae’s first experience with the maliciousness ever present towards black help.  She would purposely call attention to the violence other Negroes were enduring as an effort to thwart any of Essie Mae’s own feelings of injustice.

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