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Sun, 09.15.1940

Anne Moody, Writer, and Activist born

Anne Moody

*Anne Moody was born on this date in 1940. She was a Black writer.

From Wilkinson County, Mississippi. She is the daughter of Fred and Elmire Moody and the oldest of nine children. Moody felt the pains of racism at an early age. She had to clean houses as a child to help her family to afford food and clothing.  She attended segregated schools, where she received good grades. After graduating high school, Moody received a basketball scholarship to Natchez Junior College in 1961.

It was there that she became involved in the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She finished at Tougaloo College, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in 1964.

After the lynching of Emmit Till, Moody's civil rights activities intensified. She was a civil rights coordinator at Cornell University. She was involved in the Woolworth lunchroom sit-in and participated in the March on Washington; Moody developed a close professional relationship with Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Moody married Austin Stratus, and they had a child named Sascha; she was divorced in 1967. Although she was thoroughly involved in the civil rights movement, she broke away because she had doubts about the direction of black liberation.  Moody has described herself as a reluctant writer. She published Coming of Age of Mississippi 1968 and Mr. Death: Four Stories 1975, as well as several uncollected short stories.

In 1969, Coming of Age of Mississippi received the Brotherhood Award from the National Council of Christians and Jews and the Best Book of the Year Award from the National Library Association. Her short story, New Hopes for the Seventies, received the silver medal from Mademoiselle magazine.

She lived in New York City, worked as a counselor for the New York City Poverty Program, and had been working on a book, The Clay Gully, before her death. On February 5, 2015, Moody died at her home in Gloster, Mississippi, at 74.  She was under the care of her younger sister Adeline Moody, having suffered from dementia in recent years.

To be a Writer


The Department of English,
The University of Mississippi,
University, MS 38677

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