According to croberts5,
As many of you know the film adaptation of the New York Times Bestseller The Help will be hitting the silver screen on August 10th. The Help sheds light onto the lives of black women in the Jim Crow South who worked for elite white families of that era. Throughout the mainstream media there has been nothing but critical acclaim for this
movie and it is being hailed as a diverse triumph for African Americans in Hollywood. Furthermore, black organizations around the country are hosting screenings of the film and lauding nothing but praises in the direction of Kathryn Stockett, author of the novel, and the team behind the movie.
However, amidst all this praise I find myself hesitant to fully embrace this film as the triumph it appears so many believe it to be. For starters, the author is a rich white woman who in telling the story is only able to speak from her particular social location. This is not a make or break fact just an observation that I don’t think we can ignore. But here is the kicker so to speak. According to ABC News:
A lawsuit against Kathryn Stockett, the author of best-selling novel “The Help,” has divided brother and sister in a dispute about the real-life identity of one of her fictional characters.
Ablene Cooper, the longtime nanny for Stockett’s brother, has filed a $75,000 lawsuit against the author, claiming she was upset by the book that characterizes black maids working for white families in the family’s hometown of Jackson, Miss., during the 1960s.
Cooper also once babysat for Stockett’s daughter, according to the Jackson Clarion Ledger, and the lawsuit alleges that she had been assured by Stockett, 42, that her likeness would not be used in the book.
So here we have a privileged rich white woman telling the story of a historically disenfranchised black female domestic worker in a voice that is not that of the black woman herself, but what her white associate believes it to be. That being said, this book has stirred up a lot of needed discussion and debate about issues of race, class, worker treatment, privilege, capitalism, etc. And furthermore, it has been an opportunity for young black actresses to thrive in roles with depth and purpose. And now what you say? And now I tell you I am torn. Nevertheless, I will see The Help, I think it is a needed narrative, but I also know it has its issues. Til next time.
p.s. Let me know how I did, this is my first blog post, like ever lol