Saturday, September 5, 2009
More thoughts on The Help (no spoilers)
In I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou wrote, "The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors, and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance."
Has our world changed so completely, then, in the 40 years since Maya Angelou published those words in 1969?
Nearly forty years later, The Help has been written by a white southern woman, nurtured in childhood by a loving and beloved black maid, honoring the formidable African American women who raised the white children of the south as if they were their own. We do not view this with amazement, distaste or belligerence. We regard these women with respect and honor.
I've been thinking tonight about the women who came before me, women of all color, and I am especially grateful for their efforts. They may have acted out of an instinct for personal survival, but their bravery has given rise to great benefit for each of us.