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Anne Moody’s autobiography is an incredible narrative that accounts up until her early twenties of her courage and personality of her life. She is growing at the spark of the Civil Rights movement, and is able to talks about the hands on experiences of what it was like to grow up in rural Mississippi as an African American woman at that time. She was faced with the prejudice of blacks and whites, sexism among civil-rights protesters and the hardships of being poor. As a result of her struggles to conquer racial prejudice a superwoman was born and she uses her courage and strong will to accomplish obstacles in life. She battled society and the black community. Frequently she talks about the unbelievable circumstances and how she manages to keep her ambitions, but at the end of her narrative she changes her attitude and closes with uncertainty, fear, and skepticism. Due to the fact of everything that was taking place and the black community being against her I can clearly see why she didn’t have faith in the civil rights movement.
Anne shows discontentment with not only her family but with the African American citizens for tolerating the circumstances and the position in which they lived in. She referred to them as being brainwashed by white plantation owners. She criticizes the black community for being silent and going on with their business like nothing happens when something clearly unacceptable actually does happen. For example, when she was in high school Emmett Till was murdered, she questioned her mother, wanting to know why he was killed and what was going to be done. Her mother responded very hostile and Anne didn’t like it, so after being educated on Emmett’s murder started questioning the rationale of death. During that point and time questioning things that whites did to black was the wrong thing to do and could end up with bad results. Although the questioning whites where unthinkable by black, Anne just couldn’t hold it in.
When she was in college she created a boycott against the dining hall’s food saying it was unsanitary. Saying, “We don’t eat until he, (President Buck), gets rid of Miss Harris, (the cook), and that leak is fixed.” She was trying to anger the students. During college she did things to get Negroes equality. Though the good things that she was trying to make happen she faced prejudice and intimidation in all kinds of ways from all kinds of people. In spite of the responses that she received she didn’t stop, she continued to fight for what she wanted. Her fought gave her and many others a reason to live.
At a very young age Moody was unwilling to accept society in its conditions, which foreshadowed her involvement in the activist’s community. I think that the approach of the African-Americans to be unresponsive to the circumstances is an important explanation for Anne’s ambivalence ending the novel. While she was in Canton she receives little support and is hated by blacks as well as whites. Although the county is dominated by blacks, they are still submissive to the whites of the area, which angers her and she again refers to them as brainwashed and terrified to take what is theirs. When she is able to get through to a small amount of teenagers, she realizes that if change is to come it has to through the younger generations. At first, Moody thought that the inferior views of blacks were only prominent in Centerville until she gets to Canton as well as other parts of Mississippi and New Orleans, which help spark her dream.
The things that were taking place were devastating to Anne. A couple of the events such as the passing away of the NAACP leader Medgar Evans and the Sunday school class bombing following the march on Washington triggered Anne’s grounds to inquiry what it was all worth. She believed that everything she was doing was unsuccessful because through Freedom Vote only twenty percent came out to vote, after all she did to get blacks to vote and then when lives were lost due to the movement she felt responsible. She blamed not only herself but she blame the federal government for allowing the planters of Canton County to be poor despite the amount of land that they owned. She also criticized God because she believes he was on the whites sides and he didn’t see blacks as humans. She didn’t see how someone that was loving and merciful could allow the things that were taken place. Things like this made her hopeless, from human spirits to those overseeing it.
Not only was moody severely criticized by society but her family gave her a hard time. They really wanted her to walk away from all her hard work. She was isolated from her family. He grandmother wouldn’t allow her in her home because she didn’t know what trouble might come out of it. Her family hardly spoke with her because they were afraid of what she might say. Although some of her sibling showed her much respect, she went through some very painful experiences. I don’t see how she was able to stay positive; I was astonished by her determination and drive. I don’t think I would have been able to sustain her level of courage or optimism. After reading this one is forced to be encouraged to never give, follow through with your dreams, for it will not be easy but in the end it will be well worth it. Moody was faced with many obstacles but she fought for what she wanted. All though she had doubts, there has been much accomplished with the civil rights movement.
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