Anne Moody Coming Of Age In Mississippi

1626 WordsOct 2, 20177 Pages
Anne Moody’s autobiography, Coming of Age in Mississippi, depicts the various stages of her life from childhood, to high school, then to college, and ends with her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. In the novel, Anne tells the reader her story through events, conversations, and emotional struggles. The reader can interpret various elements of cultural knowledge that Anne Moody learned from her family and community as a child. Her understanding of the culture and race relations of the time period was shaped by many forces. Anne Moody’s family, community, education, interactions with various races, and her experiences outside of her hometown, shaped her into a devout activist for equal rights. As a child, the most important…show more content…
Another force that shaped Moody’s thoughts on race was her interactions with the whites that she worked for within her hometown. This started her questioning of why there was such an emphasis on race. Anne’s job description consisted of cooking, cleaning, ironing, and maintaining houses for whites in her community. With each family Moody worked for, the anger within her grew and the prejudice toward her also grew. Moody expresses how much she desperately wanted to understand the racial inequality that was a part of her world. Some of the kind whites educated her, while others tried to engrain in her mind that she should not try to step out of her role as an African American. One of the rude white families that she worked for was the Burkes. Mrs. Burke, an active member in a local Citizens’ Council and a character that was prejudice towards blacks, had many encounters with Anne. Anne’s interactions with Mrs. Burke make her question the societal norms between whites and blacks. Mrs. Burke tells Anne how to behave and all Anne can do is act as if she understands and agrees with what Mrs. Burke says, but inside, all she can do is question why society is like this. For example, one interaction went like this: “When they had finished and gone to the living room as usual to watch TV, Mrs. Burke called me to eat…Mrs. Burke
Open Document