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Coming of Age in Mississippi - a book well worth the read
on May 17, 1997
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. Unlike Maya Angelou's book, it does not have a sequel. But then again, this may be part of the book's genius in that it mirrors Anne Moody's own disatisfaction with the sluggishness of the Civil Rights Movement and shows that there is no conclusive end to the struggle against racism