As affectionately as Taylor has brought “The Help” to the screen, and as gratifying as it is to watch Davis and Spencer bring Aibileen and Minny to palpable, fully rounded life, their narrative, like “The Blind Side” a few years ago, is structured largely around their white female benefactor. That this is the story we keep telling ourselves is all the more puzzling – if not galling – when viewers consider that, precisely at the time that “The Help” transpires, African Americans across Mississippi were registering to vote and agitating for political change. In other words, they were helping themselves. And, on screen at least, their story remains largely untold. (via)
Implicit in and a number of other popular works that deal with the civil rights era is the notion that a white character is somehow crucial or even necessary to tell this particular tale of black liberation. What’s more, to imply that what the maids Aibileen and Minny are working against is simply a refusal on everyone’s part to believe that ”we’re all the same underneath” is to simplify the horrors of Jim Crow to a truly damaging degree. (via)
It’s like watching Parah Salin’s version of history. I thought hollywood had gotten this out of their system when they updated the WHITE SAVIOR movie a few years ago with My Pet Black Person, but I guess this is now becoming part of the creation myth of the civil rights movement. I mean, don’t you remember when those white people had hoses and dogs unleashed upon them?