Coming of Age in Mississipi
The Education of Anne Moody (elements and issues to consider)
Who is Moody’s first “teacher?” What “lessons” and instruction can she offer Essie Mae?
How does Moody learn that racial segregation exists? (Movie theater)
How does her mother respond to her questions about why racial separation and differentiation exists?
What is the “lesson” that the Emmett Till episode teaches Moody?
Does she respond psychologically in the same manner as do the African-American adults around her?
What message does she get from her mother about the meaning of the Emmett Till case?
How and why is high school a transformative experience for Moody? What are the benefits, social and psychological, that enables Anne to begin moving beyond the difficult circumstances of her early childhood and family life?
Social/psychological (homecoming Queen)
role of Mrs. Rice
What kind of school is Natchez College? How is the physical condition of the facilities at Natchez suggestive of segregation?
What are the “lessons” that the teachers and administrators and matches are attempting to impart to the students? Do they want the students to develop the ability to think analytically and question the place and role of black people in society? Does Moody accept these” lessons?”
How is the cafeteria episode (maggots in the grits) emblematic of what Jim Crow segregation means and provides for black people? How is this episode educational for Moody? What did she learn must be done in response?
What kind of school is Tougaloo College? How is it different from Natchez? What are the political “lessons” that the students at Tougaloo are being exposed to?
What happens to Moody’s political psychology after she becomes involved in the movement and experiences and witnesses the violence and injustices of Jim Crow in Mississippi?
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