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Moody, Anne

Moody, Anne

September 15, 1940

Born near Centreville, Mississippi, to poor sharecroppers, civil rights activist and writer Anne Moody attended segregated schools in the area and worked as a domestic and at other jobs. She went to Natchez Junior College on a basketball scholarship in 1959 and to Tougaloo College in Jackson, receiving her B.S. in 1964.

While in college, Moody became involved in the civil rights movement and was jailed several times. In 1963 she and two other blacks were among the first sit-in demonstrators at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi. Moody was a Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organizer from 1961 to 1963 and a fund-raiser in 1964. From 1964 to 1965 she served as the civil rights project coordinator for Cornell University. Complaining that the civil rights campaign had become "narrowly nationalistic," she shortly thereafter left it, moved to New York, and began to pursue a writing career.

Moody's best known work is her autobiography, Coming of Age in Mississippi (1968). It chronicles her growing up in poverty, her struggles to get an education, southern white racism, and the early battles of the civil rights movement. This compelling and moving book is among the best accounts of the southern black experience; it received many prizes, including the Best Book of the Year Award (1969) from the National Library Association.

In 1975 Moody published Mr. Death, four somber short stories for children that had been completed in 1972. She continued to write but has published little after that.

See also Civil Rights Movement, U.S.; Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)


Moody, Anne. Coming of Age in Mississippi. New York: Dial Press, 1968. Reprint, New York: Delta Trade Paperbacks, 2004.

Sewell, George, and Margaret Dwight, eds. Mississippi Black History Makers. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1984.

Stone, Albert E. "After Black Boy and Dusk of Dawn: Patterns in Recent Black Autobiography." Phylon 9, no. 1 (1978): 1834.

qadri ismail (1996)
Updated bibliography

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