One of the many books I found years ago in my thirst to know more about the Jim Crow South was the autobiography of Anne Moody. Her story of courage was at times as good as any thriller and just as chilling. Sadly, it wasn’t fiction; it was real.
Her story paints a vivid picture of what it was like to grow up under segregation. She shares the importance and the difficulties of getting an education. We see her family and their struggles, but we also witness their strength in spite of adversity. She details the fear of their daily existence and her determination to not let it win. As I read of her childhood, I imagined Addie living with the same limitations forced on her by society. I was grateful Addie and her family had the protection of Granddaddy Tucker and James. I wished someone had been there for Anne.
Anne moved on to college after the time period of Silent Ties just as Addie did. She writes of her work and the dangers she faced in trying to change the rules. I was amazed by her ability to set fear aside and forge on. I imagine Addie and Henry working alongside Anne during these years. Throughout her story, there were times when I wanted to cry out to her, “Stop. Don’t. You’re going to die.” But like Addie, she persevered in her quest to have a better future.
Please visit “Lawful or Lawlessness?” at “Not Your Typical Book Club!” for more about Anne Moody, and her book Coming of Age in Mississippi. See how her story influenced the development of Silent Ties.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Santayana