Summary Of Anne Moody's Coming Of Age In Mississippi

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“We shall overcome, we shall overcome We shall overcome someday. Oh, deep in my heart I do believe We shall overcome some day.” ---Civil Rights protest song

From about 1890s and well into the 1960s, Jim Crow laws ruled the South. Emerging towards the end of the Reconstruction period, it was designed to keep order relations between white southerners and newly freed blacks. With this system, whites effectively barred blacks from voting, segregated public facilities (including schools, restaurants, bus systems, etc.), and allowed them to get away with the lynchings
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Through her own personal accounts, Moody magnifies this critical time period where young black (and, even white) students unified to fight and demand for equal rights and opportunities. From a young age, Anne Moody questioned what difference there was between her and her white counterpart. Her town was under the "separate but equal" laws, and this caused her to see the way that she was treated was quite different than those who were white. These questions led to her ability to see the mistreatment of black people, and her wish for change. Yet, this wish for change that struck her at such young age was something that the older generations, like her mother, would advise them not to do. For centuries blacks were oppressed and taught to comply and stay silent in fear of being terrorized or even killed by Whites. This type of mindset would be instilled in their children for generations- to remain silent, even though they knew it was being done to the black communities was wrong. For Anne and many of the younger generation, that was a tough pill to swallow. In the book, Moody discusses how her own mother attempted to teach Anne to remain silent on the mistreatment of blacks. Yet, this made her want to be vocal about the injustices she saw around her. It made her angry at not only the whites who inflicting all the harm, but also the older generation of black people who had been socialized to not question the mistreatment. Moody states, "I hated the white men who murdered Emmett Till and I hated all the other whites who were responsible for the countless murders Mrs. Rice had told me about and those I vaguely remembered from childhood. But I also hated Negroes. I hated them for not standing up and doing something about the murders. In fact, I think I had a stronger resentment toward Negroes for letting the

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