Anne Moody sat proudly at the Woolworth’s counter in Jackson, Mississippi. Suddenly, pain shot through her as she was dragged to the floor by her hair. Would she stay down? Leave? Or get back up in defiance?
She thought back to when she feared having a nervous breakdown from the white terrorism around her in rural Mississippi.
Her cousin had been run out of town. Her classmate had been beaten to a pulp. An entire family had been burned alive in their home. Then came the final straw.
Emmett Till, a teenager who lived in Mississippi just like her, was lynched. Anne hadn’t known him personally, but decided then and there she would fight back against racism, no matter what. Now she was facing a crucial moment in her work.
As she lay on the floor writhing in pain, Anne reflected on what, and who, she was fighting for. With Till in mind, it wasn’t hard to make her decision.
She got up off the floor and sat RIGHT back down on the stool. White men continued to abuse her, dousing her with condiments. Photographers captured the iconic moment – inspiring countless sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement.
We must never let any indignity or disrespect stand in the way of fighting for those whose lives have been stolen from us! The fight continues.