Tuesday, September 6, 2011
When I first heard all of the buzz about the movie, "The Help" based on the book of the same name by Kathryn Stockett, I immediately ordered the book for my Nook.
While I like movies, I love books. I love the detail and the nuance often contained in a book and missing from a movie. I have to tell you, I loved this book.
I was a child of the late 50s and early 60s. I was as insulated as a middle-class child of that era could be. My parents did not have "help". We had my mother! None of my friends' parents' had "help". To be perfectly honest with you, I did not personally know a black person until I was in high school. Much of this book is foreign to me.
We did study current events in school, though, so I was aware of the civil rights movement. The physical manifestations of it just did not occur where I lived.
I have, since I have grown up, travelled a great deal across this country of ours. I have witnessed occasions of prejudice, though few and far between and not always against persons of color. I have heard the criticism of this book, chastising the author for daring to speak in the voice of a colored maid.
I think we should just thank her for speaking. If you have seen the movie, read the book. If you read the book, please stop and think. I know our world is not perfect. I know our country is not perfect. But can we not appreciate the fact that 45 years after Medgar Evers was killed in Jackson, MS a black man was elected President? I am not suggesting that we, as a country, sit on our laurels but can we not, just for a moment, appreciate the strides that have been made?
I am climbing off of my soapbox now. I am going to get a cup of tea, a slice (or two) or chocolate cream pie and sit and re-read my book.