The first step Moody took on her journey of activism was to join the NAACP and SNCC. The majority of work done by Anne Moody while working for these two organizations was voter registration drives. During Moody’s stay at college, she would often travel to the delta and stay in the Freedom House. Here, Moody and her colleagues would plan and execute the voter registration drives. Moody would also organize rallies. Unfortunately, these rallies were poorly attended, and not much was accomplished. Many Negroes were too afraid to vote and did not attend the rallies because of the threat of losing their jobs. The tactic of making Negroes aware of their civil rights in a nonviolent and passive manner failed from the beginning of Moody’s inception into the Movement.
Moody’s “nonviolent” sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter may be her most famous act not just during the Movement, but possibly her life. The idea behind the sit-in was to request service at the segregated lunch counter of Woolworth’s. As the sit-in progressed, the white population became more aware of what was happening, and they started heckling and threatening Moody and her fellow activists. Nonviolence turned to violence when a white man rushed Memphis, one of the sit-in members. He was beaten up and arrested. Moody was dragged out by her hair, and her friend was taken from her seat by force. A few days after the sit-in, a group of Negro ministers went to the mayor with demands. The mayor ignored them. The nonviolent sit-in was supposed to be a message to the community and the country. Unfortunately, the sit-in, in the eyes of Anne Moody, was a failure because it had accomplished nothing.
The March on Washington should have been a high point for civil rights activists everywhere, but for Moody, it was another disappointment. She recalls, “Thousands of people just took off, leaving most of their leaders at the podium. It was kind of funny to watch the leaders run to overtake the march. The way...
Cited: Moody, Anne. Coming of Age in Mississippi. New York: Bantam Dell, 1968.
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