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Coming Of Age In Mississippi And Segregation

1636 words - 7 pages

Coming of Age in Mississippi is an autobiography of the famous Anne Moody. Moody grew up in mist of a Civil Rights Movement as a poor African American woman in rural Mississippi. Her story comprises of her trials and tribulations from life in the South during the rise of the Civil Rights movement. Life during this time embraced segregation, which made life for African Americans rough. As an African American woman growing up during the Civil Rights movement, Moody has a unique story on themes like work and racial consciousness present during this time.
Moody’s position as an African American woman provides a unique insight into these themes through her story. As a little girl, Moody would sit on the porch of her house watch her parents go to work. Everyday she would see them walk down the hill at the break of dawn to go to work, and walk back up when the sun was going down to come back home. At this time in her life, Moody did not understand segregation, and that her parents were slaves and working for a white man. But, as growing up poor and black in the rural south with a single mother trying to provide for her family, Moody quickly realized the importance of working. Working as a woman in the forties and fifties was completely different from males. They were still fighting for gender equality, which restricted women to working low wage jobs like maids for white families. Moody has a unique insight to the world of working because she was a young lady that was working herself to help keep herself and her bother and sister in school. Through work, Moody started to realize what segregation was and how it impacted her and her life. While working for Mrs. Johnson and spending the nights with Miss Ola, she started to realize basic differences between races, “After taking my first bath in that beautiful white tub, I hated our round tin tub every time I bathed in it. I liked everything about the Johnson’s house… It was everything ours wasn’t” (Moody 41). This was the beginning of her racial consciousness between whites and blacks. However, fully understanding what was going on around her in the world between white and blacks would be very difficult for a young girl. Even though this is a very basic theme of segregation, this was the first experience Moody had to it, and it was the beginning to her charge for equality. Through work, Moody would slowly start to realize more things about segregation and how it impacts African Americans and her life.
As Moody grew up in the South, in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, she began to understand segregation on a larger context. Her work experiences tell us a lot about racial segregation and inequality. As work offered women new opportunities outside the house, it was different for African American women. They would work in trades least affected by mechanism, like domestic services, such as maids for white families. Moody and her mother both worked to help support the family and worked domestic service...

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