Coming Of Age In Mississippi By Anne Moody
The title of the course
15 April 2019
Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody
The United States is viewed as an area loaded with occupants having a place with various areas, ranks, and hues. A significant number of the natives trust that the nation respects a wide range of individuals with no racial separation associated with its dealings, additionally called as pluralism. Notwithstanding, a few people of various religions, particularly the minorities don't have a similar sentiment. They trust that they have confronted a bias and one-sided disposition since they are the minorities. The majority of the African American individuals and foreigners are not spoken to fairly and properly in the legislative issues. Such issues are highlighted in the story of the book Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody.
The author all through the story highlighted her personal struggles as a black person, growing up in a community which was racist to its very core. She was even as a child taught by her own mother to never mention the name of "NAACP" (referring to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) even though the association was made by the people of her own kind only to promote their well being. However, I do believe that some elements in the story could have been an element of bias. I believe that the state of Mississipi was subjected to gross racial discrimination at the time but despite what might be expected, the nationals did feel undermined by their essence by saying the black people of the community were gobbling up the states' assets and occupations quickly, pretty much ruling out the genuine nationals of the nation to misuse them for their welfare. This could have been right owing to the sheer reason of huge families in the people of color. They not only had huge families to look after but didn’t at all intend to control the ratio of new borns; rendering the state with lesser and lesser resources. The author further asserts that local people at the time were additionally apprehensive of the risk of fear-based oppression and brutality and related it to the nearness of dark-skinned populace among them. Such a reality, while based on racist assumptions, had some grounding to it as well. Since the people of color had big families to look after and lesser resources and low levels of education, most of them did indulge in endeavors to help them survive like theft and burglary. Thus, I believe that the story could have been made better if a neutral stance was taken by the author and one or few of such instances would have also been reported as well.
Even though I liked the whole story in the book, but I didn’t like the part where Moody is ripped off by a white family for two weeks' pay, and when she is betrayed by a co-worker owing to the gross injustice of the facts and the brutality portrayed.
I believe that racism usually stems from a misplaced sense of superiority. When the first white settlers met people from Africa (or other indigenous populations, I'm going to use africa as an example however) they thought that the Africans were stupid because they lacked the technology that Europeans had stolen and adapted from all their interactions with a multitude of cultures. Most people from Africa had very little contact with the outside world/cultures outside of Africa so they couldn't learn and develop the same way that Europeans did, this lead Europeans to assume that Africans were stupid. The fact is that Africans just thought differently, they may not have known that the earth revolved around the sun but they could remember a list of a few hundred berries and roots and how they interact with each other, memorizing the ones that were poisonous, the ones that helped heal wounds, the ones that were good to eat etc. They also possessed an amazing memory for story telling, remembering humongous tales word by word, a skill lost by most of the modern world and most of the European settlers who met the Africans. But because the Africans hadn't needed to adapt to the same world that Europeans had and hadn't faced the same struggles they were a lot less technologically advanced.
So white superiority was forged by Europeans not being able to understand that Africans and other indigenous people valued different types of intelligence and learned/adapted in different ways. A great quote by Albert Einstein sums it up, "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid" The Europeans thought the Africans were stupid, and the Africans were dumb if you held them to European standards, but if you held the Europeans to African standards they would also be considered dumb. This was taught to the children of the culture and perpetuated on words to new stereotypes and misplaced hatred leading to different notions and creations of racial bias against certain hair styles (thought only appropriate for black community), their language (Ebonics) and an overall discrimination in jobs availability etc. Such a factor was forged in the future interactions with the black and white community and I believe that the author should have built a case in her story by defining racism and its very beginning and emergence by putting in the very basis of origin of racism. However, such historic factors might have been omitted by the author on purpose as she wanted to throw light on the issue of segregation and racial bias in the state of Mississipi and not discuss the origins of racism.
I believe however, that the author was successful in achieving her goals as she was able to remind the readers of the strength of voice and a strong resolute against oppression. Indeed, one of the biggest civil transformations was witnessed among the people of Mississippi and racial segregation against them. Their aim was to be recognized and identified as Americans and not merely the people of color. "Freedom Schools" generated all ages of people of color who were literate and well educated with all principles of democracy, history, and political agendas. In fact, If I were a professor of sociology, history or ethnic studies, I would most certainly assign this book to my students since the book signifies that the need of the time isn't just to assess and appreciate the ethnocentric perspectives of Americans about the black population. However, the need is to manage the developing number of blacks in the nation; the states should put the majority of their endeavors in settling all kind of contentions to keep away from a common war. I trust that such a moderate state of mind towards convictions of ethnic minorities has prompted numerous conservatism perspectives and issues for their advancement in all roads of life when they turn into a piece of this nation. As I would like to think, the whites need to comprehend is that as their own, social convictions, Africans have certain limits too, which is polished by every one of the devotees cheerfully and with full assent. It is from now on, not the area that is cuffing their advancement but rather the ethnocentric demeanor of Native Americans for them as outsiders that is preventing their advancement.
Moody, Anne. "Coming of Age in Mississippi. 1968." New York (1976).
Boisseau, Tracey Jean. "Always in the Mood for Moody: Teaching History through Anne Moody's Coming of Age in Mississippi." Feminist Teacher 24.1-2 (2014): 18-31.
Crespino, Joseph. In search of another country: Mississippi and the conservative counterrevolution. Vol. 49. Princeton University Press, 2007.
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