3. It no longer seemed important to prove anything. I had found something outside myself that gave meaning to my life.

In Chapter 22, while Anne is trying to decide what to do after college, she realizes that she is content with being an activist, and does not need to seek others’ approval or achieve financial security. Her whole life, Anne had striven for approval and recognition, and also to make money. Now, having finally achieved her college education, Anne is broke and hungry. But she does not care whether she has a real job or not. She prefers to work in the movement, where she can act on her drive to fight racial inequality, and where she feels accepted. Anne even feels more at home among her fellow activists than among her family members. When she reunites with family in New Orleans, she does not even know how to talk with them. She feels an urge to move back to Canton with the other activists. As a memoir of a life in activism, Coming of Age provides an important insight into why people would take on the risks and trying lifestyle of full-time activist. For Anne, the lack of traditional rewards is made up for by intangible ones, to the point that she is willing to go hungry.