True Power

True Power

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Let the movie " THE HELP" help: Black hands that rock the cradle revelation.

Okay people, I think the movie "The Help" is a must see movie. A movie reviewer said it the best:
By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic"The Help" is a delicious peppery stew of home-cooked, 1960s Southern-style racism that serves up a soulful dish of what ails us and what heals us. Laughter, which is ladled on thick as gravy, proves to be the secret ingredient — turning what should be a feel-bad movie about those troubled times into a heart-warming surprise.

I am from Mississippi and to my surprise, the overwhelming majority of viewers happened to be Caucasian couples. Why was this surprising to me - because the story line was about the help, the hard working lives of black women living through a severely prejudiced time, eeking out an existence with rules that did not allow for any quality of life. The rules were instituted and guarded by whites protecting a coveted standard of living where life was easy; complicated only by how high they could rise in status and wealth.

Let me just say beforehand that much of the debate about this movie is centered on a white character being the heroine of black characters and whether the target audience was the white audience leaving them with a feel good feeling at the end of the movie. Being from the South, I walked into the theater wondering did the 'help' actually devulge their true thoughts about their employer? Was there a ring of truth anywhere in this dynamic of the Southern woman and her hired help? WOULD THE HELP SPILL THEIR GUTS????

As the theater filled and the audience consisted of a speckling of 6 black people, the question pinged through my brain "How can a white audience watch this show without shame, guilt or some sliver of embarrassment and should there be any?" The only answer I could come up with was that the white audience was there to recognize, in one of the white characters, Aunt Betty or their off the wall friend Becky who also attended Ole Miss. who successfully obtained a Mrs. Degree (husband) from college. There was laughter at the housewives as they played bridge and attended the fund raiser for the starving African children as black maids stood serving them in crisp starched uniforms living in poverty. People were identifying people they knew and socialized with up there on the big screen. And yes, I knew and socialized to some degree with some of the same housewives acting out the horrors of the 1960's overlaiden with Christian lingo of ignorance.

One thing that was amazing about the movie was the language used. There were phrases used in a movie (fictional) recreated from a book written about a time we have decided has long passed, that are said on TBN, in local churches, and yes, Fox News. When I heard these same phrases i.e. "I am a Christian and I would hurt you by helping you financially" there was no way you could have kept me from thinking about the political struggle occurring between the classes of giving the poor too much and trying to take from the rich. I could hear John Hagee shouting Scripture from his televised pulpit saying "If a man does not work; he does not eat." The movie clearly demonstrated how a man could work and still could not eat; it all depends upon who is calling the shots.

But all of that aside, the biggest revelation or illumination I had was the burning question posed to all of the "Help" - "How do you feel raising white children while someone else takes care of your own children?"

Michele Bauchmann has said and others have echoed; the breakdown of the black family. People have come to believe the black family is so dysfunctional until it was in a better condition during slavery. But what I realized is that for generations it was a black slave or black help raising, nurturing, loving, and yes, during slavery- being a wet nurse and breastfeeding white children. There are generations of adult white children who have been cared for by black women!!! Did those generations of children turn out bad or did they turn out well? Was the true determinate for their success or failure their access to money/wealth or was it the loving hand of the black Mammy that made such a strong generation?

My final question as I rode home from the movie was; did anyone truly hear the words coming out of the mouths of the characters? Did anyone hear the pain and the shear obliviousness of choice in the words uttered on the big screen? Did anyone leave the movie saying never again and we are so close to a historical repeat with the passage of policies and laws which say I am tired of looking out for the minority? Did "The Help" help? I'm hopeful as the movie has raked in 118.6 million dollars!!! People aren ot seeng this movie just once, but at least twice.

I am glad the movie has been the top grossing movie for two weeks. I hope people are laughing at the well placed humor of living and being as well as the soul crushing ugliness of the human heart. I was plesantly surprised the the movie was true in telling the secrets the races never tell to each other. There was not one person who could not relate to at least one character on the big screen. This movie was a glaring exposure of the human condition of heart, spirit, and soul at its worst and its best. I hope we recognized more than our Aunt Cill and friend Netty. I hope we could each see ourself up there doing what was decent and what was right - the hard things that shake and shape this world for the better. I hope we let the movie "The Help" help

This Could Be Me At Your Next Event

This Could Be Me At Your Next Event
Author And Public Speaker


Do you have an upcoming gardening, church, or women's event planned and need a speaker? Contact me. I can speak on various topics such as:

1. Detangling Ancient Mythology From Christianity
2. The Female Presence In The History Of Christianity
3. Superstitions and Gardening In The 21st Century
4. The Politics Of Prayer: The Bible Speaks
5. African American Geneaology: Pride From The Grave

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