Evaluating ‘The Help’

Exploitation said Akiba Solomon at Colorlines without actually seeing the film. “I can’t bring myself to pay $12.50 …  to watch these sisters lend gravitas to Stockett’s white heroine mythology,” she said and recommended Eyes on the Prize and The Warmth of Other Suns instead.

Sappy said Alyssa Rosenberg at The Atlantic. “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,” she said. “Whether you’re black or white, liberation’s just a matter of improving your self-esteem.” She suggested Freedom Riders instead.

Both/and said a group of black professional women at The Root. “Too often, we are afraid to discuss the harsh realities of our shared American history. We all know black maids raised white children in the South during slavery and after. White people are part of that story and have a point of view,” said one. “I realized the group I went with actually had much more in common with the white women portrayed in the film than we did the black women. That’s great news about how far we’ve come, but it also made me think seriously about what we’re doing (if anything) to honor their legacy,” said another.

Get behind it, said NAACP chairman Roslyn Brock at The Los Angeles Times“My grandmother was a domestic in Florida, and when she passed, almost two generations of families whom she had taken care of sent condolences saying what an important part she was to their family. And it never really connected with me until I saw this movie.”

Inspiration, said Mary J. Blige in an interview with ABC News about the theme song she wrote for the movie. “They’re all living proof of surviving out of a bad situation by holding onto each other and encouraging each other through all of that stuff to do better,” she said.

See and discuss, said an integrated group of 300 Christian women in Charlotte, North Carolina, who will screen the movie together Saturday and then meet at a church to discuss it, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Do something about today’s “help,” said the National Domestic Workers Alliance in a YouTube video.

For a plot summary, check out Terri J. Haynes’ book review right here at Urban Faith.

How about you? Are you going to see The Help?