One of the themes of the book is Moody's development of a sense of racial injustice and her awareness of how fraught race relations in the deep South are. After Emmett Till is murdered, Moody's mother tells her to act around white people like nothing happened. Moody's white employer, Mrs. Burke, warns Moody (then known as Essie Mae) that Emmett Till was killed because he "got out of his place with a white woman" (page 132). Moody writes:
"Before Emmett Till's murder, I had known the fear of hunger, hell, and the Devil. But now there was a new fear known to me--the fear of being killed just because I was black" (page 132).
“I sat on the grass and listened to the speakers, to discover we had 'dreamers' instead of leaders leading us.... Martin Luther King went on and on talking about his dream. I sat there thinking that in Canton we never had time to sleep, much less dream" (page 335).
She feels that the difficulty of the movement is so great in places like...
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