Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody

They remained anxious about the safety and welfare of their children. In the absence of parental care and love, the children lived on day to day basis, worrying what calamity awaited them each day, as their caretaker was a rude individual. He often inflicted physical injuries on Anne particularly. Her father did love Anne but distress due to hard economic circumstances made him lose the temper and he punished her without rhyme or reason. She did not receive love to which a child was entitled to and craved for. The rounds of punishment by the caretaker bordered cruelty, and he indulged in it just for the heck of it. About the consequences of one such punishment Anne wrote, (2004, p.10) I tried to sit down once. It was impossible. It was hurting so bad even standing was painful. An hour or so later, it was so knotty and swollen I looked as if I had been stung by a hive of bees.Anne’s writings graphically revealed the history of African-Americans of the 1950s and 60s and details about the harsh realities of the black children growing up. Going by the provisions of the Constitution, all the citizens were equal. But the whites were unwilling to change. The habitation of the plantation laborers was of sub-human standard, whereas the plantation owner lived in a palatial building. The Christian principles of love thy neighbor did not work. The differences in the living standards of the plantation owners and plantation laborers were described by Anne poignantly. She wrote, Most evenings after Negroes had come from the fields, washed and eaten, they would sit on their porches, to look up toward Mr. Carter’s house and talk. Sometimes as we sat on our porch, Mama told me stories about what was going on in that big house.(p.5) Next to parental love at home, the place where one could expect the growth of the personality of children and get some affection was theschool environment.