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Coming of Age in Mississippi as an Autobiography

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In “Coming of Age in Mississippi” Moody takes the reader through her autobiography and how life was cruel in Mississippi during the reign of Jim Crow. The monograph also highlights the situations that the writer underwent and her participation in the movement. On the other side, the reader is given the picture of how it was in Mississippi before the civil rights movement. For instance, Mississippi was characterized by poverty during this period, hard work, and general suffering from the public. For instance, the writer narrates the ordeal between the whites and other races when she visited where her mother was working as a house help. She describes how the kitchen was in sharp contrast to their kitchen. There are also other issues presented, in the book, to which the writer was not an exception. The writer portrays racial subjugation in Mississippi and how the blacks were denied equal opportunities in the employment sector. According to the author, this led to further suppression of the black population. The author is honest, for example, when she talks about her hatred for the black population because the blacks were not ready to work hard. However, she is quick to notice that the black population had no option but to safeguard their jobs to put food on the table.

Moody was mainly focused on racial prejudice especially watching her own mother discriminating against Florence because of her skin color as a result of mixed race. Other issues that made Moody work with the civil rights movements were the death of Emmitt Till. At this point, she realized that there existed a substantial difference between blacks and whites. She began to worry about her race as a Negro and how that racial segregation predisposes someone to murder as well as certain social injustices. Even her relationship with acquaintances was full of uncertainty because she was concerned with their relationship in terms of race; an idea that started at a tender age. Her quest was, therefore, to bring equality to the social systems. Moody also narrated the plight of domestic workers. Domestic is usually considered the last choice for people to take, however, in Mississippi; it was evident that domestic workers were to undergo various challenges, which include long hours of work and low wages. Despite the challenge, the workers still managed to hide their feelings, emotions, and education. The situation was the same for Moody.

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The book also tells the readers on how several attempts to organize the society did not work. This is because most of the people, especially the workers, had faced numerous atrocities and, in turn, were depressed because of the low wages. Sometimes, the workers tried to push for better wages and improvement in the working condition. These attempts were, however, thwarted because a certain group felt that they had nothing hence people with jobs should not complain. Such people would take the work which was available hence derailed the attempts to call for fairness and justice in society. At some point, there was a contrast between what Moody advocated for such as the situation of black Americans and the readiness of the black population to take any job, and how she derailed the progress of the efforts of blacks trying to work. Even though there were no similarities between black Americans and white Americans, civil rights movements set out formidable changes.


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