Saturday, February 7, 2015

Anne Moody's Former College Professor Recalls This 'Gifted Mississippi Activist and Writer'

* * *
(Editor's note: Sociologist John R. Salter, Jr. is a well-known civil rights and labor activist. I am proud to publish this following piece he has written on Anne Moody, his former student at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi. On a personal note, I never met her, but Moody's book, Coming of Age in Mississippi, gave me powerful insight into the civil rights struggles of her times. It is a wonderful book, and a "must read." Moody died at the age of 74 on Thursday, Feb.5, 2015. Susan Klopfer)

* * *

Mississippi author and civil rights activist, Anne Moody 

... we shall always remember a brave and plucky and committed 
human being who, despite the many and various vicissitudes, 
continued toward the Sun.   

John R. Salter, Jr.

I and my good spouse, Eldri, knew Anne Moody from the point that we and Anne arrived at Tougaloo Southern Christian College in late summer, 1961, myself as a professor and she as a student. We were in contact with her from about that point until late summer, 1994.

She was a fine student of mine in a number of courses, and became a close friend of Eldri and myself.  Passionately committed to social justice, Anne was a strong supporter of our Jackson civil rights movement which began very actively in latter 1962 as the economic boycott of the downtown Jackson area and which feathered out into our massive Jackson Movement in the spring of 1963.  
If Anne often distrusted some components of government, she was an essentially trusting person when it came to human beings.
Her role in our historic Woolworth Sit-In at Jackson Mississippi on May 28, 1963, is very well known. After the active demonstration phase of the Jackson Movement, she lent her valuable efforts as a CORE representative in other most challenging Magnolia [Mississippi state flower] situations. Her fine writing abilities are very well exemplified in her classic work, Coming of Age in Mississippi, and in a number of other pieces.

Moody's Coming of Agein Mississippi, a "must read."

In addition to being a very good friend, she was also, as a great many of my students and former students often are, an advisee of mine, and I her advocate, at many points. (From that perspective, I am ethically constrained from discussing any details in any personal challenges she may have faced.  I maintain confidences.  There is no chronological statute of limitations for me on those.)

But I will broadly mention two matters.  If Anne often distrusted some components of government, she was an essentially trusting person when it came to human beings.  In almost all of those cases, that trust was eminently justified.

But not all.  In 1991, she was significantly enmeshed – through no fault of her own –- in a bureaucratic/medical situation in New York City where she resided. She was able to contact me.  I extricated her from that mess pronto.
Her book, Coming of Age in Mississippi, guarantees her immortality.
In the earlier part of 1994, and not of her making, "something" tangibly occurred in which she had very good reason to fear for her personal liberty in New York City.  A faithful neighbor of hers, an elderly Jewish man, worked with me (I was in North Dakota) to put her on a fast track to our university town of Grand Forks in that rather remote state.  For about three months, in the spring of 1994, she and her son, Sasha, lived in a motel quite near our home. We assisted her in a number of ways, as we had on earlier occasions, and continued that for a time into the summer after she and Sasha moved on back East and contact with other writers. Then, we lost touch with her.

Her book, Coming of Age in Mississippi, guarantees her immortality.  But more than that, we shall always remember a brave and plucky and committed human being who, despite the many and various vicissitudes, continued toward the Sun.

Hunter Gray/ John R Salter Jr. / Hunter Bear, Pocatello, Idaho, February 6 2015

... at the Mississippi lunch counter

* * *
(From Jerry Mitchell of The Clarion Ledger, Feb. 7, 2015):

Born in 1940 in Wilkinson County, she attended segregated schools and worked to help her poor family.

While attending Natchez Junior College, she became involved with the civil rights movement. She then attended Tougaloo College, where her involvement grew deeper.

On May 28, 1963, she took part in the sit-in at Woolworth's in downtown Jackson. A mob attacked her, Joan Trumpauer and Tougaloo professor John Salter Jr. and others, hitting them and pouring flour, salt, sugar and mustard on top of them.

It was the most violent response to a sit-in in the 1960s in the U.S.)

* * *
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq / St. Francis Abenaki / St. Regis Mohawk 
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari' . Check out our massive social justice website:

Member, National Writers Union AFL-CIO

Core dimensions of my Community Organizing course:

Some early personal activist history / good people and issues:

My expanded/updated "Organizer's Book,"
JACKSON MISSISSIPPI -- with a new 10,000
word introduction by me. Covers much of my
confrontational social justice organizing life to
date. Contains much how-to grassroots organizing

See this for mini-bio, efforts to prevent JM’s appearance in
Mississippi, a wide range of its many reviews, and some

The Stormy Adoption of an Indian Child [My Father]:

No comments:

Post a Comment