Movie: The Help: Black Maids and White Women in the 60s

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On 12th August 2011, Dreamworks will release the movie ‘The Help’, which tells the story of black women who worked as maids for wealthy white women in Mississippi in the early 60′s.


Synopsis:

by Dreamworks

Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, “The Help” stars Emma Stone (star of the breakout hit, “Zombieland”) as Skeeter, a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives—and a small Mississippi town—upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis (“Eat Pray Love”) stars as Aibileen, Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, who is the first to open up—to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories—and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly—and unwillingly—caught up in the changing times.

 

The Looking Glass:

This will be an interest movie to see for all black women and men too. If we think that things are hard now then we need to take a closer look at life being black in the 60′s. There are not many movies which show life post slavery from the perspective of black people, although the physical violations against black people was less rampant, psychological warfare took it place, making the daily life of black people a struggle, decreasing the pride and hope within the black community and fortifying the degradation of our race. The difference being that we were now paid at least a little to do a lot, taking care of chubby children, ironing expensive suits and running the home like clock-work for carefree suburban house-wives whilst we struggled to feed our own children.

This movie shows how despite the end of slavery black people were still regarded as the lowest level of human beings, being fit only to serve wealthy white folk, do as they were told and not disrupt the apple cart. An exemplary scene in the movie, is of a wealthy white woman setting rules for the separation of sanitary facilities for the white homeowner and their black maids. The movie is approached in a light hearted manner in the representation of a serious theme and their are many moments in which you will laugh, scream and cry with the character.

Thanks to Kathryn Stockett this piece of our history has been captured to remind us of where we are coming from so that we can hopefully look forward to where we are going to.

 

Main Actresses:

Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Bryce Dallas Howard

 

The Trailer:

 

The Book:

thehelp

  • Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780399155345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155345
  • ASIN: 0399155341

Review From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. What perfect timing for this optimistic, uplifting debut novel (and maiden publication of Amy Einhorn’s new imprint) set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who’s raised 17 children, and Aibileen’s best friend Minny, who’s found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.

 

Your Opinion

Keep an out for Ebonics follow up review on the movie once its out and let us know what you think about this movie release, whether you have read the book and have anything to add.


 


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