Coming of Age in Mississippi Questions and Answers
by Anne Moody

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How does Anne Moody diverge from Martin Luther King’s prescribed path to activism in the book Coming of Age in Mississippi?

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Anne Moody is critical of Dr. King and the civil rights movement leadership for failing to engage with wider socioeconomic issues that affect the African American community. She thinks that they're so fixated upon voting drives, bus boycotts, and lunch-counter sit-ins that they've failed to develop a comprehensive long-term vision that addresses vital issues such as employment and housing.

Generally speaking, Moody's critique is that the leadership of the civil rights movement is too narrowly focused on abstract rather than practical questions. And in Moody's experience this turns off many African Americans who would otherwise flock to the cause. It's not enough for them to be able to vote or send their kids to desegregated schools, out sit wherever they like on a bus; they need to have some idea of the quality of life they and their families can expect in future.

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Anne Moody is involved in grassroots activism, including working for CORE in rural Mississippi. In her work trying to register...

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