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Coming of Age in Mississippi Paperback – February 3, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 292 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Simply one of the best, Anne Moody’s autobiography is an eloquent, moving testimonial to…courage.” —Chicago Tribune

“A history of our time, seen from the bottom up, through the eyes of someone who decided for herself that things had to be changed…a timely reminder that we cannot now relax.” —Senator Edward Kennedy, The New York Times Book Review

“Something is new here…rural southern black life begins to speak. It hits the page like a natural force, crude and undeniable and, against all principles of beauty, beautiful.” —The Nation

“Engrossing, sensitive, beautiful…so candid, so honest, and so touching, as to make it virtually impossible to put down.” —San Francisco Sun-Reporter

From the Publisher

Written without a trace of sentimentality or apology, this is an unforgettable personal story -- the truth as a remarkable young woman named Anne Moody lived it. To read her book is to know what it is to have grown up black in Mississippi in the forties an fifties -- and to have survived with pride and courage intact.

In this now classic autobiography, she details the sights, smells, and suffering of growing up in a racist society and candidily reveals the soul of a black girl who had the courage to challenge it. The result is a touchstone work: an accurate, authoritative portrait of black family life in the rural South and a moving account of a woman's indomitable heart. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (February 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385337817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385337816
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (292 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Believe it or not, I was actually forced to read the book, "Coming of Age in Mississippi" as a freshman this past year by my college history professor. It was such a thick book, and I was sure that, knowing my professor's tastes, it would be a boring read.

However, upon reading it, I had a pleasant surprise. It was such an insightful, moving, and eye-opening book. It had me glued from page one.

As a book about a young black girl's (the author) struggle to overcome racism in the south, it is a very potent history lesson. I had thought that I understood what it was like for young African-Americans of the 1950's and '60's, but I couldn't have been more wrong. This book opened up my eyes and made me truly see the harsh reality of growing up as Anne Moody did. She has many recollections of childhood and adult aquaintances murdered by the Ku Klux Klan, as well as the story of her Mississippi Freedom Summer when she had to hide at night in high grass to avoid the Klan. It was at this time that she realized that she was on their so called "Black List." These very vivid circumstances were a slap in the face that almost made me tremble right along with the characters. Furthermore, Ms. Moody's use of common language, and the very realistic way in which she describe's her life, greatly aided me in fully understanding the enormity of the situation at that time.

Another book that can be compared to this one is, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou. Although this book is much more harsh and gritty than Ms. Moody's, it gave me much of the same feeling of insight.

The only disappointment in Anne Moody's book to me was that the ending left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the well-written autobiography, Coming Of Age In Mississippi, Anne Moody describes what it is like to grow up black in Mississippi. Her experiences growing up formulated her outlook on life. Born in 1940 Anne grew up during the thick of the Civil Rights movement. She had to deal with prejudice from blacks and whites alike. Throughout the book Anne struggles with her feelings on what she believes in. Along with that, she must deal with the hardships of being poor and the outcome of her actions. As a result of her struggles a hero is born. Anne uses her heroism and strong will to make things happen. The book is well written and conveys the life experiences and feelings of a black girl as seen through the author's own reflections.
The book Coming Of Age In Mississippi is separated into 4 different sections that each tell about a different time in Anne's life. The first section of the book deals with Anne's childhood. When Anne was 4 her father left her mother and younger sister. After her father left her mother had another baby, by a solider named Raymond, whom she eventually married. When Anne was 9 years old she got her first job sweeping an old white lady's porch and sidewalks. She got paid 75 cents and 2 gallons of milk a week. Anne stopped working for the lady when the lady had her cleaning the whole house (p.44). Throughout her childhood Anne learned just what she must do to survive in Mississippi. Her experiences as a child set the guidelines for the rest of her life. It wasn't until Anne started high school that she started hating the prejudice Negroes received. "I was 15 years old when I began to hate people... I hated all the whites who were responsible for the countless murders... But I also hated Negroes. I hated them for not standing up and doing something about the murders." (p.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anne Moody's powerful story brings the reader into the world of Negroes in the fifties and sixties, where on a daily bases, they faced bigotry, discrimination, and prejudice. Her words make the reader fell as if they're sitting next to her at the Woolworths food counter, having food thrown at them for sharing her views on life. She makes her fear of being beaten by the local police a fear you feel as the knot in your stomach gets tighter with each page. But along with these fears and acts of violence, you see the courage and strength in this young girl that makes her such a memorable individual. This book tells you the story of a fighter for eqality that just won't quit, teaching us that when times are tough, you don't run and hide. She has described every painful detail of the equal right movement that became her life, so that other generations as well as her own could know what she as well as many others were forced to live with. And along with these admirable strengths, Anne Moody reminds us that even when we think we've achived our goal, that doesn't mean it's time to stop and relax. She shows us that there is always something better to strive for.
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This book had a few typos, I hate to see that in any read. That aside I really loved this book and didn't want it to end. Ms Moody, a great woman and a great activist. I want to thank her for writing the book and above all I want to thank her for fighting for my rights. I enjoyed the whole book, but, really liked the portion on Ms Moody's involvement with the struggle for civil rights. I mean I almost cried when she spoke of how black people she knew and some she didn't know died for my human rights. I respect all who suffered so that I may have the right to vote or walk the streets without fear of being hanged because of the color of my skin. I must say at this point that I appreciate my white bothers and sisters for helping in my right to be free. What got to me even more while reading this book is the fact that young children and teenagers had the courage to stand up and speak out at a time when speaking out against racism could and normally did mean death! I can't say enough about this book. As far as I'm concerned it should be required reading in all high schools, because this book is relevant even in todays society.
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