4. We had “dreamers” instead of leaders leading us.

This is the conclusion Anne reaches in Chapter 24, while listening to the speeches given by the leaders of the civil rights movement at the famous March on Washington, particularly Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. After attending the March on Washington, Anne’s uncertainty about the movement is increased. She had already felt that the leaders of the movement were out of touch with the base, as evidenced by their emphasis on voting rights for the poor rural blacks in Mississippi rather than poverty relief. At the time Moody wrote Coming of Age, King was still alive, and so this statement was probably in part intended to affect the ongoing debate. Ironically, at around the time the book was going to print, King was in fact pushing for a change in direction in the movement to focus more on bread-and-butter issues. He was shot while rallying striking workers in Memphis. It was 1968, the same year Coming of Age was published.