The Help

The jist of this post is if you haven’t read The Help, read it. Seriously, buy it, download it, borrow it right now.

There are some books or movies that strike a cord with you on many levels. This book did this for me. I want to know the women in this book. I want them to be a part of my life. They are amazing and complex.

As if the plot and characters weren’t enough, the story of race relations in the south is what really made me think. I was brought up in a very accepting home. I was taught that all people, no matter their race, religion, sex, or any other factor, are no better or worse than me. I am grateful for this. Beyond grateful.

This book opened my eyes to the hardship all minorities face. In this book, the minority was African American women. It’s taken me a while to be able to articulate the impact this book had on me, and, well, here it is.

My ancestry has had the upper hand for generations. Why? Not because we are smart, or better, but simply because we are white. That’s it. That’s the only trait you needed to posses to be able to go to a better school, or get a better job or attend a better college. You had the upper hand simply because you were born white. Can you fathom knowing that your grandparents or great grandparents were slaves? That means that they started with nothing. Nothing. And your parents and grandparents were brought up just prior to or in the civil rights era fighting for what seems to be the simplest rights. Using a bathroom. Renting a home. Sitting where they choose on a bus or in a restaurant. YOUR parents had to FIGHT to sit with white people at a restaurant. It seems unfathomable, but it’s a fact. That means your generation is the first to have the capacity to follow your dreams. Where would you be if that was your history? Most likely, you wouldn’t be where you are today.

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