Review on Coming of Age in Mississippi
It is hard to imagine living during the civil rights movement. By no means has racism totally diminished from our society today, but the fact that our president is African American shows that Americans can look past the color of one’s skin. Americans no longer look at the world as black and white but as a colorful society full of beautiful differences. Anne Moody’s autobiography on growing up African American in the Deep South is intense and uplifting. Her attention to detail sucks the reader in and makes them feel as if they are part of her story.
The book is split up into four unique parts of Anne’s life. The first part, called Childhood, is a look back onto Moody’s family life while growing up. This portion of the book is crucial because it helps explain how African Americans were treated before the civil rights movement and the type of childhood Anne had. Essie Mae, as Anne is called in this portion of the book, lived with her mother moving from place to place while she was young. Essie’s mother changed jobs frequently. The money earned was not used for anything except a roof over their heads and rice with beans. Essie had to get jobs working at white peoples’ houses. She usually cleaned or babysat. She did not like working, but knew that she had to in order for the family to survive. The only outlet Essie had from her jobs was school, and it turns out she was very good at it. Throughout the first portion it is shocking to see exactly how African Americans were treated. The hardships they had to face helps to truly open our senses as to what happened during this time period. This story accurately portrays exactly how it would have felt to be poor, black, and living in the racist Deep South.
The second part of the book is called high school. By this time her mother has moved into a nicer house with a man. We also learn that on Essie Mae’s birth certificate there was a mistake and her name was recorded as Annie. She...