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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Coming of Age in Mississippi

A friend of mine lend this to me (forced upon would be another possibility of describing this transaction) in North Carolina. So, now I've read it and I see why she would have thought I should read it. Anne Moody's Coming of Age in Mississippi is The Classic Autobiography of Growing Up Poor and Black in the Rural South. It definitely sounds like a book someone like me (fanatic of the South, race relations, the Civil Rights Movement, Mississippi in particular) should read. All of this is very true too, the only problem is that I didn't find Moody to be such a great writer, which diminished the pleasure of reading her book significantly.

I do have to admit that it was super interesting to have the perspective of someone who grew up in her stature of life. Yet, sadly Moody dwells too long on passages outlining her achievemens in her home-town (how well she worked, studied, how she became prom-queen) which started to bore me relatively fast. Maybe I just spent too much time reading people who cannot stop overboarding their phrases with meaning (which has made it a problem for a while now for me to write coherently and not convoluted), but her writing seemed too straight-forward for me. So, enough complaining. I read this in one session, sitting on the train and I enjoyed myself while doing that. Think I had just been hoping for a deeper more general analysis through an autobiography (the way Franklin does it), what I got instead was the life of a woman. A remarkable woman, fighting against racism, Jim Crow, her own family, her poverty. I would recommend the book more to people that haven't read that much about the South and its recent history yet, than to someone slightly obsessive like me.

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