What divisions did Anne describe among blacks in Mississippi over race?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most compelling aspects of Moody's work lies in illuminating the endemic condition of racism.  It is not merely a condition that plagues Whites in their interactions with people of color.  Moody's work shows how people of color replicated the same structure of evil in many of their interactions with one another.  Moody, who is dark skinned, details a setting in Mississippi where lighter skinned people of color look down on those who are different than them.  Anne nearly rejects the scholarship she receives because she perceives the lighter skinned students as possessing the propensity to discriminate against her.  These attitudes are enhanced by Miss Pearl, whose skin is lighter than Anne's mother and whose hair is straight.  Raymond's mother uses skin color as a reason to dislike Anne's mother.  In this setting, one sees how Anne articulates the realities of race, even amongst people of color.  

Racism is shown to be an evil that Whites perpetrate upon people of color. What is interesting is that Moody shows it to be a condition that replicates itself within people of color.  Moody's work is insightful because of this complex view of race.  It is a view in which people of color possess its poison within themselves.  As they have been the recipients of racial abuse, Moody makes the argument that they perpetrate this abuse amongst others.  In depicting racism in this light, a condition in which people of color create divisions amongst themselves as a result of skin color, the dehumanizing effect of racial prejudice emerges.

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Coming of Age in Mississippi

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