Coming of Age in Mississippi Topics for Further Study
by Anne Moody

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Topics for Further Study

(Nonfiction Classics for Students)

  • Coming of Age in Mississippi is divided into four sections. Which do you think is the most powerful section? Why?
  • Find out more about urban and rural southern society in the 1940s and 1950s prior to the beginning of the civil rights movement. Compare and contrast these two environments.
  • Conduct research to find out more about a specific aspect or leader of the civil rights movement, such as desegregating Central High School in Little Rock or Martin Luther King, Jr. Write a report analyzing your selected topic or person in terms of the overall movement.
  • Find out more about the murder of Emmett Till, Louis Allen, or Medgar Evers. Write an article about this incident that might have appeared in a liberal northern newspaper at the time.
  • Watch a movie depicting the civil rights era, such as Mississippi Burning, which is about Freedom Summer, or The Ghosts of Mississippi, which is about bringing the killer of Medgar Evers to justice. Then conduct research on some of the events portrayed in the movie, and write a critique of the film with regard to its historical accuracy.
  • Find out about the significant events of the civil rights movement that took place after spring of 1964. Write an epilogue to Coming of Age in Mississippi that summarizes these events and their effects on southern African Americans.
  • Find out how northern politicians in the 1950s and 1960s responded to the civil rights movement and African-American demands for equality. Write a report on their support, or lack of support, of the civil rights movement.