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Steve Hansen A look at how ‘The Help’ compares to my experiences

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4 comments:

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 4:51 pm on Wed, Mar 21, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Excellent comments, Mr. Kinderman.

    It is really a shame that Huckeberry Finn is banned as public school reading in many places. Although published in the mid 1880's, the attitudes depicted in the book persisted throughout the Deep South and most likely apply to those depicted in "The Help." At the very least, Huck Finn should be mandatory reading for HS seniors who, hopefully, have achieved the maturity to learn something from the vernacular and stereotypes Twain uses.

    Our family visited Virginia frequently when I was a child, spending vacations exploring Revolutionary War and Civil War battlegrounds and other historic sites. Never once did I see evidence of the type of Jim Crow laws that were prevalent further south.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:46 pm on Wed, Mar 21, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2367

    I viewed this movie with my 20-year-old daughter. And while I was entertained and informed regarding what I had already accepted were the attitudes of the races during that era (having seen first-hand the differences between South Jersey and Greenville, Mississippi (northern part of the state along Old Muddy itself), I was left with what some might consider a foul taste in my mouth.

    Sure, most of what emanates from Hollywood now would have garnered at least an "R" rating if released during the 50s and 60s (yes, I know there were no ratings such as we know them now back then), but after being informed as to the special ingredient in one of the pies over and over and over again - the message it attempted to conveyed was equally as dirtied as the Mississippi River itself.

    Yet I have to wonder how well Mr. Hansen reviewed his latest column prior to submission for publication with his statement that ". . . [the black maid] sitting at our table could have been problematic based on master/servant protocol, rather than a black and white issue" nicely tucked away within his ignorant comparison between Virginia and Mississippi. Considering that his by-line doesn't include "satirist" this time around, what kind of reaction could he have been expecting?

    Well, at least so far he's gotten away with it. He should understand that even then there was no difference between "master/servant" and "black/white" as they were synonymous. I recall well as a child visiting the Mississippi area in 1962 with its "Whites Only" water faucets and restrooms and the Greenville public pool as white as it could possibly be in a town with a very large black population.

    Well, I lived it, Mr. Hansen; as I’ve got an incredible story to tell on the issue of race relations and racial violence just a few years later as I along with a few hundred other white students attended a white’s only institution at the epicenter of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Civil Rights movement. Sadly, I doubt anyone at the News-Sentinel would be at all interested. Instead, we’re treated to the likes of Steve Hansen’s pathetic little Q&A. Oh well.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:29 am on Wed, Mar 21, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Good perspective, Mr. Wright.

     
  • Greg Wright posted at 7:46 am on Wed, Mar 21, 2012.

    Greg Wright Posts: 4

    Hey Steve! Just got done with a great book "American Nations" by Colin Woodward. Woodward traces the different groups that settled the United States. Virginia and the Deep South are apples and oranges. Virginia was settled by the Cavaliers or country gentleman from the feudal north and west of England. South Carolina was settled by plantation owners from Barbados in the West Indies. The version of slavery that spread throughout the Deep South was the brand brought up by these British Americans from Barbados. Slaves were chattel and less than human. Virginia was definitely a class society but not nearly as brutal as the Deep South. Slavery spread west with the cotton culture and the aggressive nature of this Barbados model. The Virginia Tidewater planters remained in Virginia where they owned the land and sold surplus slaves to the new slave holding lands in the Deep South: Carolinas, Georgia, parts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and eastern Texas. Similar book to Kevin Phillips "The Cousins War" in 1999. Hope all is well with you!

     

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