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Overcoming Prejudice and Racism in the South: Ann Moody’s Struggle for Equality

Jun 15, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jun 15, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

When Ann was in high school, she started getting the attention of the boys and the men in their community. Moody (1968) pointed out that she wore jeans when she outgrew her  school uniform dresses, which her family was unable to afford  to replace for her even when they grew tight. Her popularity with the boys increased in that in her eighth grade, she was elected the home coming queen. Moreover, her father, Diddly, provided her with a beautiful dress. This made her homecoming parade in high school one of the few moments of joy in her young life. Her mother was not even able to recognize her in the new dress until she waved.


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The experiences of Ann Moody in the book are shown of her struggle to overcome the post war era of racism and gender in the South America. The experiences of the author elaborate how it was like in the i1950’s and 1960’s for the young African Americans (Moody, 1968). The recollections of the author of her childhood and even adult acquaintances who were murdered by the KuKlux Klan, and the harsh experiences where she had to hide in high grass at night to avoid the Klan

Moody (1968) indicated that she grew up when the civil rights movements were thick, and therefore she had to deal with racism and prejudices from both whites and the blacks. Furthermore, the author had to struggle through the hardships because her family was poor. From her experiences in the parade, the author creates a picture of a hero being borne from her struggles. She was poor, she was black, but through her struggles she was able to struggle through and be elected the homecoming queen. She uses her strong will and heroism to make things happen. The feelings and the experiences of a black girl is therefore conveyed through the reflections of the author.

When Anne began her high school, she started to hate the different kinds of prejudices the Negros were given. She hated everyone from the white people who bore the responsibility of murdering many people. Similarly, she hated the blacks for not doing something and standing up against the committed murders (Moody, 1968p.129). this acted as a trigger and she started questioning the kind of treatment she received, and this saw her searching for what according to her was right.

Anne also experiences the prejudices of the whites against blacks, and the light skinned blacks towards the dark skinned blacks. Moreover, the people with money also had prejudices towards the poor people. The author is at great pain since she received all the kinds of prejudices of her time and this prejudice the author against the wealthy, the light skinned blacks and the whites.

Similarly, the gradation of the skin color amongst the blacks themselves brings out the racial discrimination during that era. The author refers to the blacks who are light skinned as “yellow” or “mulatto,” and they often curved out for themselves a higher social status, despite the fact that in no any way they were better off compared to the blacks or the whites legally (Moody, 1968). This according to Ann was at disunity among the blacks. The social construction of the racial distinctions had no real basis in the physical reality. But the prejudice made the author suspicious of the light skinned blacks, and that shows how prejudice can be destructive.

In conclusion, Ann Moody’s memoir provides a poignant and eye-opening account of the challenges faced by African Americans during the tumultuous civil rights era in the South. Her experiences highlight the deep-rooted racism and prejudice that permeated society, affecting not only relations between whites and blacks but also within the black community itself. Through her resilience and determination, Moody emerges as a symbol of hope and empowerment, defying societal expectations and fighting for equality. Her story serves as a reminder of the enduring struggle for civil rights and the importance of standing up against injustice. Ann Moody’s narrative is a testament to the power of one individual’s voice in challenging systemic racism and inspiring change.


Moody, A. (1968). Coming of age in Mississippi. New York: Dial Press.

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