Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Help: Part II

In last Saturday's blog post, I shared my opinion on the wildly successful novel and film The Help. I believe this story has become amazingly popular for many reasons. One reason is because it presents a fictional account of a largely true story. Kathryn Stockett weaved the stories of thousands of African American maids and their Caucasian employers in with interesting, and often hilarious, fictional anecdotes. She intertwined the great stories of love between these southern folks with the horror stories that many of us would rather bury away for all eternity. The result is a wonderful, emotionally moving tapestry.

Stockett has shared much about her loving relationship with the maid that helped raise her, Demetrie. Here are a few of her own words:
"Growing up in Mississippi, almost every family I knew had a black woman working in their house -- cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the white children. That was life in Mississippi. When I moved to New York, though, I realized my "normal" wasn't quite the same as the rest of America's. I knew a lot of Southerners in the city, and every now and then we'd talk about what we missed from the South. Inevitably, somebody would start talking about the maid they grew up with, some little thing that made us all remember... Everybody had a story to tell. Twenty years later, with a million things to do in New York City, there we were still talking about the women who'd raised us in our mama's kitchens. It was probably on one of those late nights, homesick, when I realized I wanted to write about those relationships from my childhood.
 "I realize there's a tendency to idealize the past, but some of the women I spoke to, especially the middle-aged generation, just fell apart before they even started talking. After a while, I started to better understand what they were feeling. I felt it too. It wasn't just that they missed these women so deeply. I think they wished that they could tell them, one last time, "Thank you for everything." There was a sense that they hadn't thanked them enough."
The Help is Kathryn Stockett's "thank you" to her now deceased maid Demetrie and all the other African American maids in history.

After reading, and watching, this tribute, I now feel called to write some true stories of my own. And what better place to share these stories but here at "Sojourner of Truth"? For the next few weeks, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, I will share stories of people that have changed our country's history. Some of them are still changing history today. Many of these people are fairly unknown, and I can't wait to introduce you to them. My blog will be my thank you to these people going out on a limb to change our world.

Join me this Saturday for my first true story. I can hardly wait to get started!

Sharing the Truth In Love,


1 comment:

  1. Awww...what a truly touching quote by the book author you shared. To this day, rich people in Mexico have maids (usually very poor indigenous ladies, sometimes with their whole families being employed in different things by the same family where they live) and in most cases they are treated like family because they are the ones that do the "tedious" things that the upper class moms don't want to mess with. We were not rich at all and we never had that experience at our house, but I stayed in many houses like that (when I traveled alone to play tennis tournaments) and its something not understood by a lot of people... the "caring nanny" syndrome. Brought back memories of some girls who, when on tour, would call home and ask to talk to their maids sometimes longer than with their moms, or bought souveniers for them from various places.
    I look forward to your future blogs and I can't wait to watch the movie.
    Thanks for sharing and have a blessed rest of the week!