Why did Anne and others become activists when other southerners, such as oppressed blacks, did not?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the most fundamental lessons that comes out of Moody's biography is the idea that the more education that one is exposed to, the greater the chance they will recognizes injustice in their own world and respond to it.  Part of the reason that Anne is able to do what she does is because of her experiences at Natchez College and Tougaloo College.  It is here where Anne's activism becomes strong and zealous.  For this reason, Anne becomes an activist.  The argument being made is that if people do not become exposed to intellectual concepts that begin the process of demanding change, there is a less likelihood that they will do so.  For many African- Americans at the time of Moody's narrative, college education was not a reality.  It was not standard.  It was not something that many African- Americans could envision or something that White society could envision.  In her narrative, Anne makes it clear that the greater amount of social and intellectual opportunity that is present from advancing in one's education is what helped to distinguish herself and other activists from the greater African- American community.  At the same time, it might also be a call to everyone in demanding the importance of education.