Freedom Essay, Research Paper
Anne Moody?s pessimism towards African Americans overcoming racism and discrimination in the United States stems largely from the lack of support and poor treatment towards the movement. Throughout Anne?s involvement with the movement towards racial equality she encountered many unexpected hurdles in the form of peoples hatred and fears. The summer before entering high school Anne learned of the lynching of a young boy by the name of Emmett Till and the local police department?s unwillingness to bring justice to the killer. This was Anne?s first look into the oppressive actions that the state government was taking towards racial equality in the South. An indirect consequence Anne had to deal with due to her involvement with the movement was the loss of communication between her and her mother. Anne?s mother?s fears of white supremacists harming her family because of Anne?s involvement in the movement forced her mother to ask Anne to either quite the movement or cut off all ties with her family. Although Anne?s family was important to her, she realized the greater importance in her efforts in the movement and decided to stick with her involvement with racial equality groups. Perhaps one of the largest hurdles Anne faced was the constant fight with the very people she was fighting for. Most of Anne?s time during her involvement was spent looking for support amongst older African Americans but almost everywhere she looked she only found blacks that were afraid of what involvement in the movement could do. With everything from a strong racist history to fear amongst African Americans towards the Whites against her and the movement, Anne Moody was left with almost nothing but a pessimistic outlook on racial equality.
Anne moody encountered many racial hatred crimes and deaths during her fight for civil rights and almost all of them were done without any substantial justice from the police departments in the South. She quickly learned that even the ?justice? department was against racial equality. Every demonstration, peaceful or not, was closely watched and governed by the police department. Strict rules were put into place whenever there were marches stating where and when they could take place. The police would line the street with officers armed and willing to take aggressive physical action against anyone who decided to break the rules. Aside from the police department, the government was regulating the amount of crops African American farmers could sell which greatly reduced the revenue they could make despite the large pieces of land that were owned by the blacks. Even when the FBI came to investigate the shooting of five black teenagers Anne knew they were doing it only to make a presence and calm things down until after people stopped paying attention at which time they would just let the investigation drop. At the height of her frustration with the government in the South Anne said, ?Too bad. One day we?ll learn. It?s pretty tough, though, when you have everything against you, including the money, the newspapers, and the cops.? (Pg. 283)
Although Anne left her mother after her junior year in high school, she didn?t begin to loose contact with her until she joined the civil rights movement. Many African Americans looked at the NAACP and related groups as a way to become a victim of racial crimes. Anne?s mother was no different. As soon as Anne started becoming active in the civil rights movement her mother sent letters bagging Anne to stop. Anne?s mother even accused Anne of ?trying to get every Negro in Centreville murdered.?(Pg. 275) She was afraid of Anne?s affiliation with the movement putting the rest of the family into danger. Her mother?s fears were confirmed with the murder of Anne?s uncle. Anne believed that all the movement needed was more ?believers? but with the lack of support from other African Americans, especially her family, it became harder and harder to have a positive outlook towards the betterment of the African American treatment in American.
The civil rights movement in the south was made up almost entirely of teenagers and college students. Many of the African American adults were old enough to have experienced far to much lynching like that of Emmett Till and smart enough to make the connection between the lynching and involvement in groups like the NAACP. With the governments eyes turned away from such lynches whites were pretty much free to take justice into their own hands. Hatred due to fear of racism started to be directed towards the NAACP because people were scared that if they acted out and voiced an opinion that differed from that of white southerners they would be victims of racist hate crimes. The involvement in the movements was greatly influenced by the latest crimes against African Americans. As soon as a crime occurred the parents of the teenagers would keep their children from attending rallies and meetings. Most of Anne?s time was spent convincing African Americans that it was important to be involved in the movement and that without their support the situation in the South wouldn?t improve. In one of her speeches Anne said, ?A few is not enough. If a change is gonna take place in Canton, as we just said in one of the songs, then it?s gonna take more than a few believers.? (289)
Anne Moody became involved in programs like the one that attempted to get more African Americans to vote. She discovered that the blacks greatly outnumbered the whites in Mississippi and believed that if the support of the African Americans better represented their numbers freedom would be a more attainable goal. Anne was disgusted when the freedom house that she was involved with at the time was giving out free clothing to blacks and the blacks refused to show their support for the cause of the giveaway. She began to come to the realization that African Americans wanted and needed help but they were afraid of getting it from groups like the NAACP because of how whites brutally disagreed with any form of a structured group against segregation. To Anne it seemed like everyone was against the movement, including African Americans.
Anne moody became involved with the movement because of her disgust with the treatment of blacks in the South and her belief that she could make a difference. While involved in the civil rights movement she was up against the southern white way of thinking, the government, her family, history, and ultimately her own people. She started off strong with many goals and ideas for her involvement with the movement but over time the constant up-hill fight with the movements enemies began to ware her optimism thin. It is my believe that the lack of support from the very people that the movement was fighting for was too much for Anne to maintain a pessimistic outlook. Without the support of African Americans the fight for equality amongst blacks and whites just seemed hopeless.