OldSoul : The Whiteness of Memory in “The Help” VS the Ugly Realities of Jim and Jane Crow America

OldSoul

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Inconvenient Facts: The Whiteness of Memory in “The Help” Versus the Ugly Realities of Jim and Jane Crow America

Stockett’s novel presented a vision of segregation in service of a feel-good story, but the film version of The Help is even more distant from the virulence of American racism. Its villains, Junior League bigots who wear smart little suits to cover their scales, are so cartoonish that viewers won’t risk recognizing themselves or echoes of their behavior in them.

The heroines—a privileged, liberal, white Mississippi woman named Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) and two black domestic workers, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (a particularly good Octavia Spencer)—are much easier to identify with. The project that brings them together, a secret oral history of maids’ lives in Jackson, may spotlight the domestic side of racism.

But other than a mention of unenforced minimum-wage laws and a scene of the aftermath of Medgar Evers’ murder, the movie is disengaged with the public legal framework that let white women treat their white servants dreadfully in private. In The Help, whether you’re black or white, liberation’s just a matter of improving your self-esteem.

Like Captain America: The First Avenger and X:Men: First Class, The Helpappears to be one more data point in which the white washing of history and nostalgic memory are ways of dishonestly negotiating racial realities in post-Civil Rights, Age of Obama America.


 

Destee

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Thank you both ... Brothers OldSoul and Monetary.

I have an interesting story to share about this book.

My Daughter bought, read, liked, and passed the book on to me ... about 7 months ago.

I was like, okay ... my baby likes this ... gave it to me ... let me read it.

I couldn't get past the first few pages ... and have still not been inspired to move beyond them!

What got me ... was the ebonics ... they were so fake, so white ... i knew immediately ... somebody's try'n way too hard, to sound Black. So i checked the author out, and saw that they were white ... which in itself is not a problem ... but to be writing whole books, that mimic the language, if you will, of my people ... c'mon now ... at least be halfway look'n all authentic!

I am a lover of ebonics ... and i was soooo turned off by this book ... for the sloppy job they did.

I was offended ... at just that ... my Daughter has asked me a few times since, how is it coming ... and my response is the same ... i wasn't feeling the fake white ebonic attempt, right inside the cover ... and have not been able to get past it.

My issue with the book has nothing to do with the rest of the content ... i couldn't even get there.

Love You and Thanks for sharing yall! :grouphug:

:heart:

Destee
 

chuck

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Aug 9, 2003
13,471
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Inconvenient Facts: The Whiteness of Memory in “The Help” Versus the Ugly Realities of Jim and Jane Crow America

Stockett’s novel presented a vision of segregation in service of a feel-good story, but the film version of The Help is even more distant from the virulence of American racism. Its villains, Junior League bigots who wear smart little suits to cover their scales, are so cartoonish that viewers won’t risk recognizing themselves or echoes of their behavior in them.

The heroines—a privileged, liberal, white Mississippi woman named Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) and two black domestic workers, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (a particularly good Octavia Spencer)—are much easier to identify with. The project that brings them together, a secret oral history of maids’ lives in Jackson, may spotlight the domestic side of racism.

But other than a mention of unenforced minimum-wage laws and a scene of the aftermath of Medgar Evers’ murder, the movie is disengaged with the public legal framework that let white women treat their white servants dreadfully in private. In The Help, whether you’re black or white, liberation’s just a matter of improving your self-esteem.

Like Captain America: The First Avenger and X:Men: First Class, The Helpappears to be one more data point in which the white washing of history and nostalgic memory are ways of dishonestly negotiating racial realities in post-Civil Rights, Age of Obama America.


 

chuck

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Aug 9, 2003
13,471
2,160
EVen among our own folk, some do want to remember black/white relations of simpler days, as contrasted to the horrors some lived thru, during the Civil Rights Movement...They aren't bad people: They are wrongheaded anyway...Be forgiving though not forgetting of the difference between how they choose to reflect on the past as opposed to your own...FYI...
 

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