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All Humans Are Equal

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All Humans Are Equal

We live in a nation where all men are created equal. But over the last two-hundred some years, America has had difficulties granting its’ people with these basic rights. These rights were and still are taken from women and minorities such as African-Americans and homosexuals. Around fifty years ago, the United States saw a huge achievement in equality. The Civil-Rights Movement, from 1954 to 1968, marks a social movement to end racial segregation and discrimination. Men and women marched, boycotted, participated in sit-ins and many more other non-violent activities. In “Coming of Age in Mississippi,” a civil rights activist Anne Moody writes about a gruesome sit-in that she took part in. Moody is able to write a strong article reflecting on the hardships that many people had faced with her use of varying rhetorical strategies. The Civil-Rights Movement occurred many years ago, but this piece is still relevant in society today to those who are not treated equally and fairly.

Anne Moody dedicated her life toward fighting for equality of the African-Americans in the 1960’s. The author uses an anecdote to describe the actions that took place at the Woolworth sit-in in 1960. She states “A man rushed forward, threw Memphis from his seat, and slapped my face. Then another man who worked in the store threw me against an adjoining counter.” Because Moody is using her personal experiences, she is able to write with much more detail and make the piece much more credible. Along with it being an anecdote, the audience is able to sympathize more with the author and realize the message of this writing that America was not and is still not equal. The mistreatment of African-Americans by their neighbors and fellow citizens was horrifying and evil and Moody was able to accurately show the suffering many went through just to be equal in a nation where they were already declared equal. She proves that the activists and colored people were not in the wrong but the others were. Moody writes “Memphis suggested that we pray. We bowed our heads and all hell broke loose.” The activists behaved in a non-violent way at this sit-in. In fact, the four of them were very peaceful and praying, so what gives the right to these other white men and women to kick, slap, punch, push or hit these peaceful protestors? Anne Moody writes “I sat there in the NAACP office and thought of how many times they had killed when this [segregated] way of life was threatened.” Were the Mississippian whites really threatened or just too ignorant to realize that we are all human?

In her anecdote, Moody incorporates dialogue and characters at the sit-in. The reader can then view the hateful comments said by the Mississippian whites and pity the ones being abused. The story becomes descriptive and detailed allowing the audience to know the entire story and not part of it. Comments such as “I



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