May 3, 2012
More on "The Help"
I remember when the movie of this book came out there was a lot of criticism because the book's author was white. I wonder about her history. Was she raised by an African American maid? How did she research the book, did she interview the daughters of those who had been maids? I am not wise enough to know whether the book "should" or "should not" have been written. Another of the criticisms was that it was written in what one of the African American actresses who played a maid in the movie termed "dialect." I do not see How the book Could have been written with African American maids in
as major characters Without writing it in their voices. Mississippi
Another thing I remember is what Maya Angelou said about Joe Lewis standing in the boxing ring for, among others, "Every Negro Maid who had ever been slapped by her employer" . . .
None of the maids in "The Help" Were slapped, shoved, or shown nonsexual physical violence in any way by their white employers. The fact that Maya Angelou said what she did as though the slapping of black maids by white employers was fairly common lead me to expect some reflection of this abominable behavior in "The Help." Without first hand knowledge I think the book probably got some things very right; the fear and prejudices of white women about their maids carrying disease or not being clean, (if they Really believed this, How could they let these women care so intimately for so many years for their children?) the humiliation of segregation, the laws in place, and the extreme shunning of Constantine, by Everyone, especially when she and her daughter were together, the unjustified accusations of thieving and the way an innocent maid could be kept from getting another job, along with all of her family, by some former employer bent on revenge.
But how common Was physical violence of white employers against their maids? Is the lack of such incidence in "The Help" because the author was unaware of it, because she is white and no one interviewed wished to discuss such humiliating incidents, or what?
This relationship seems Incredibly complex, painful, and intertwined, Especially for the maids! What a horrible thing to raise a child who might remember you lovingly or at least happily, and still look down on you as a second class human
I hope this is legible. Doing my best but you know who, Blogger Isn't helpin!.
(labels) More on "The Help"