oil pastel on paper
In the summer I wrote a post about The Help by K. Stockett,
the book about the black maids in the south. I didn’t care for the book. It triggers my own feelings about racism. I have not seen the movie. But I have read what others have written about it, and what the actresses have to say about playing the parts.
That caused me to rethink my ideas about the movie. One thing we as humans are very fortunate to have is a freethinking mind. We can change it at any time. We have the capacity to revisit our thoughts, weigh all the options, and reflect on why we think what we think. And change our minds about something. That is what happened to me with this movie/book.
So my new take: while I won’t be rushing out to see it, I have respect for the actresses that took up the roles of portraying a segment of our population that had no voice.
And to me that is what The Help did. It gave a voice to women that were invisible.
I love the actress Viola Davis. I think she is beautiful, powerful and amazing. She is a dark skinned black woman following her dreams. She was on the cover of LA Magazine and she was gorgeous. She had a short afro and was exquisite. She has grace. She took a risk on this role.
Back to the Help. Slavery, indentured servitude, taking advantage of people because of their skin color or race or religion has been apart of the makeup of America.
Have things changed since the sixties? Are the lines of inequality fading? Is there equanimity for all?
Good questions to ask. Can one answer with a yes or no or maybe? The answers are as complex as the questions as the person answering would be.
I did change my mind on the book. To be black in America is no easy feat. My challenges as a light skinned black woman are different that a darker skinned black woman. But my hair tells my story. My nose tells my story, my lips.. they tell my story. I am the Help. My grandmother’s and great grandmothers were The Help.
In my new reflective space, I value that these women are now visible.