Essay: Coming of Age in Mississippi
Racism is a vice that many love to overlook. In the contemporary world, it is hard to even contemplate that it even existed. Life in America during the pre and post World War II period only invited sympathy as the conditions of living were deplorable. It was even worse for the black population as abject poverty dominated in numerous states. The hardships of life witnessed by the African Americans were beyond imagination. This cut across social, economic, and political arena.
Coming of age in Mississippi by Anne Moody is a book that captures the conditions that the black community encountered in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, where she was born and the life she led while fighting for the plight of Negroes. Centerville was a city where racism was in unthinkable levels. Moody’s story relives the events that led to the social rights movement in America and the rise of historical figures like Malcolm X and Martin Luther.
In Mississippi, lack of opportunities and racial segregation devastated the African-American community a great deal. As depicted by Moody (4), many people lived as sharecroppers where definite part of the produce went to the plantation owner. Moody’s family was employed by Mr. Carter in his plantation where they worked for long hours. Many of the people who sought employment elsewhere found themselves in even worse of circumstances. As she puts it, “jobs are as hard to get here as they are in Mississippi” (ibid 113).