Coming of Age in Mississippi is a chronicle of Essie Mae Moody?s life in the Jim Crow ruled and racially segregated south. From the tenant farm in Wilkinson County to Tougaloo college, Essie Mae?s voyage transforms the inquisitive youth into the bold civil rights advocate Anne Moody.
Essie Mae began her life on a plantation just outside of Centerville Mississippi. Her family lived in a small two bedroom house which was owned by the plantation owner. When Essie Mae?s parents separated, her family moved from location to location within Wilkinson County as her mother moved from one low level job to the next. Since Essie Mae was so young, her uncle Ed often looked after she and her sister.
One day, Ed took Essie Mae and her sister to visit there two younger uncle?s Sam and Walter, who lived in house not far from their own. Upon reaching the house, she ?stood there looking from Ed to the white boys and back to Ed again.
? She ?kept watching the white boys and listening to? Ed call them Sam and Walter. ? Essie had a difficult time understanding how her uncle Ed came to have two white brothers. Later, Essie Mae Learned that although the boys appeared to be white physically, they were legally black because there mother was black. This was the first in many confusing moments in Essie Mae?s experience with race.
Once, after moving, Essie Mae found herself with white neighbors. The Johnson family was very nice and they had two children who were about the same age as the children in her own family. As a result, they played together regularly in the grassy area between the two adjacent houses.
One Saturday evening, Essie Mae?s mother took her and her siblings to the movie. Essie...