History prof corrects mistakes in ‘The Help’ review

September 9, 2011 Letters to the Editor Print Print
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To the Editor:

Regarding Ms. Johnson’s review of “The Help,” I would like to make several corrections.

The character Skeeter was not raised by Aibileen. Constantine was the name of Skeeter’s nanny.

Skeeter did not select her topic for a story in the newspaper as your reviewer implies.

The newspaper job was a simple column on how to clean and cook. The book project was unrelated to Skeeter’s day job as a columnist for the newspaper, and her topic for a book project was selected after witnessing the poor treatment of the domestics by Skeeter’s own peers.

There has been a great deal of interest in “The Help,” (both positive and negative.)

In August, the (website) Oral History H-Net (www.h-net.org) published an official statement by the Women’s Association of Black Historians which condemned the movie for its negative portrayal of Black American maids

In response, Oral History H-Net published my alternative view.

If your readers are interested in an in-depth discussion of the movie, they may send a request for my article to my OCCC email at claudette.robertson@email.occc.edu.

Regardless of some of the Hollywood liberties taken in “The Help,” the story gives an excellent portrayal of the realities of Jim Crow in 1960s Mississippi. I recommend the book and the movie.

As soon as it comes out on DVD, I’ll be showing it to my #1493 U.S. History class.

 

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