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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Help

The weekend my sisters and I went to see The Help. It was so, so good. I read the book when it first came out and loved it.

I was born and spent the first seven years of my life in Mississippi. My mother and father were born and raised in Mississippi.

My mother lost her mother at the age of seven, her older sister quit school to raise her and her two brothers with the help of a maid, although I don't ever remember any of them using the word maid instead Christine, who was the black woman who helped raise my Mama was called help, just that, help. I remember Christine being at my Pawpaw's home every time we came to visit. She still came to help my Aunt Ophelia with cleaning and cooking. I remember the first time J and I went to see Pawpaw and Aunt Ophelia after we were married, Christine was there and when we sat down in the dining room to eat, we said where is Christine, she was sitting in the kitchen eating alone. I went in and said Christine come in here with us and she would not. J and I tried to talk her into coming in to the dining room but she would absolutely not. On the way home I thought about how crazy that was, just Aunt Ophelia and Pawpaw in one room eating and Christine in the other.

I wish I had could go back and thank Christine for helping raise Mama. I imagine a lot that Aunt Ophelia and Mama learned came from her.

Unfortunately, I know some people like Hilly. I think most people would be surprised to know there is still such prejudice in people, but you only have to spend some time in the south, or spend some time with people from the south to know it is still there. It is oh so wrong, but it is there.


  1. It is not only in the south but everywhere and not even because of race. I did cleaning and caretaking for very rich people (a few you would know by name)...I had to fight for every thing I got. They just don't live in the same world we do...they have no concept of how much it takes to live. No concept that you might have your own life to live. To this day I think they would rather you use a separate bathroom..just because. When you think about it we have no problem leaving the waitress a really big tip but how much do we leave the hotel maid for cleaning up after?

  2. I loved the book, Joyce Ann - can't wait to see the movie.

    This was SO much my own life growing up - I wouldn't be who I am without my MamaJean!

  3. I haven't seen the movie but would really like to. We don't have a theater close by so it will probably have to be DVD.

    There is so much prejudice around here. In California you have prejudice but people hide behind the PC stuff and yet it comes out in subtle ways or behind closed doors. Here, it is so in your face blatant that it was a shock for me.

    What's funny here is that people may talk bad about another because of their race, but if that same person needs help they get it. That is except for a few of the serious nut jobs who have generations of marrying cousins.