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Coming of Age in Mississippi

Narrated by: Lisa Reneé Pitts
Length: 15 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (378 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Classic, 2014

Born to a poor couple who were tenant farmers on a plantation in Mississippi, Anne Moody lived through some of the most dangerous days of the pre-civil rights era in the South. The week before she began high school came the news of Emmet Till's lynching. Before then, she had "known the fear of hunger, hell, and the Devil. But now there was…the fear of being killed just because I was black." In that moment was born the passion for freedom and justice that would change her life. 

An all-A student whose dream of going to college is realized when she wins a basketball scholarship, she finally dares to join the NAACP in her junior year. Through the NAACP and later through CORE and SNCC she has first-hand experience of the demonstrations and sit-ins that were the mainstay of the civil rights movement, and the arrests and jailings, the shotguns, fire hoses, police dogs, billy clubs, and deadly force that were used to destroy it. 

A deeply personal story but also a portrait of a turning point in our nation's destiny, this autobiography lets us see history in the making, through the eyes of one of the foot soldiers in the civil rights movement.

©1968 Anne Moody (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Simply one of the best, Anne Moody's autobiography is an eloquent, moving testimonial to...courage." (Chicago Tribune)

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A Gripping, Visceral Account of 1960's Reality

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were many times during this story when I froze in place, put my hand over my mouth, and felt my eyes well with tears...but don't mistake it for some sort of a 'sappy sob story.'

Any additional comments?

This is one of the best credits I've ever spent. I couldn't take my headphones off! I even turned off my phone, so I wouldn't be disturbed. There is not one single boring word. The entire story is alive - pulling you in, triggering emotions you didn't even know you had, forcing you to experience an ugly part of American history, and opening your eyes to the true, dirty reality of racism.

The narrator is fantastic - I cannot praise her enough. She reads it like it's her own personal story. Her voice is smooth and pleasant and displays a brilliant full spectrum of emotions. I could listen to her all day and never get tired.

You will NOT regret this selection.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A must read for those who appreciate raw truth

Warning: the language is raw and authentic as the story. I am a black man who was raised in Southwest Mississippi and heard similar stories coming up. I was born after the events in this store, but I have been to many of the places mentioned. There were moments in this story when I was right there and others when my eyes filled with tears. She is a gifted writer with the ability to tell a single story from multiple viewpoints. I am shame to say that I never heard of Anne Moody before reading this book, but I want soon forget her nor this beautifully heartfelt shared story. This book really made me wonder how many story went to the grave untold. Most of folk choose not to share the horrors they suffered. To all those like Anne Moody who found the courage and time to share by spoken or written word, I say thank you. For those who suffered so I would have a better life come of age in Mississippi, I say thank you. All should ready this book, black, white, other, southern or from another country. Today is in Mississippi is far, far, from perfect, but thank God it's much better now than then. If you from somewhere other than the Southern United States of America, you should come visit us, especially Mississippi. God bless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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brought tears to my eyes

I had to write an essay for my history class and this was the book of choice. I am so glad my professor chose this book for us. it is such an amazing story that is heart wrenching

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

This book was so well written that I could “see” the places and people. I could understand each person’s perspective, while rooting for the success of the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

this book is the BEST !!! i couldn't stop reading it.. the more Ms Moody told her story.. the more i wanted to know.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Soul wrenching yet beautiful

The book wonderfully captures the essence of Anne Moody and her struggles from her early childhood up to her post-college years.
You are thrown into a world many, but also few have truly experienced -- the gruesome violence and the continuous torment faced by blacks in the South. By the end of the book, you are left deeply saddened and troubled by what African Americans had to endure for the pursuit of universal freedom, and left questioning if American society today has truly "overcome".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Riveting Story with Excellent Narrator

Where does Coming of Age in Mississippi rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I've only listened to a handful of audio books and usually tend to the narrators' voices. But in Coming of Age in Mississippi, Lisa Renee Pitts gives a terrific performance that emanates depth through her the softness of her voice. I particularly liked her incorporation of using different dialects to distinguish individual characters as well as her ability to change her tone when conveying different moods. Pitts did an excellent job at conveying the emotions that Anne Moody describes in her riveting story and I give her performance five stars!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hard story to hear, but you should hear it

If you could sum up Coming of Age in Mississippi in three words, what would they be?

This story is too important to be summed up in so few words.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Coming of Age in Mississippi?

The Woolworth sit in. The visual of the brutality and race based hate swirling around the mixed race group of protesters was very powerful and more so being that it is a first hand account.

Have you listened to any of Lisa Reneé Pitts’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I believe I have, but I'm not sure.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I actually read this book for the first time in college and had to purchase a second copy because I wore the first one out. The listening experience is the same.

Any additional comments?

This is a definite must read! Outside of it's purpose as it applies to the history of the Civil Rights Movement, it is a very gripping story of a young girl's life. It is just a good read if you can't take anything else from it. I have loaned my hard copy out many times because I think it's that good and that important.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the best civil rights books out there!

I have read this book Arndt now listened to it. I think the narrator did a fantastic job and really brings it to life. I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Meh. Interesting and unique persective, BUT....

Would you try another book from Anne Moody and/or Lisa Reneé Pitts?

While the historical perspective is excellent and insightful, I struggled a lot with disliking the protagonist. Anne Moody spends an inordinate amount of time telling us how she was the prettiest, the smartest, the best basketball player on the team, was wanted by all the boys, and so on ad nauseam. She is temperamental, irritable, and critical with almost everyone and everything in her life. Her mother, her father, her stepmother, teachers, coaches, principals, deans, fellow Civil Rights workers, etc.

What was most disappointing about Anne Moody’s story?

Her very obvious vanity and how she speaks very disparagingly about almost everyone. Her bragging and negativity are such a large part of her writing that it is very distracting.

What does Lisa Reneé Pitts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I liked the narration and thought it was well done.

Was Coming of Age in Mississippi worth the listening time?

Meh. I guess. It is good to have a better grasp of the events that took place and how hard Civil Rights workers worked toward change and how frustrating and dangerous it was for them.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful