African Americans in the Help 2011
And obviously, if you portray all whites as villains and racists, then you’re not presenting a full or accurate picture. But if you make a movie about Jim Crow that is all about white people saving black people, and that movie has a happy ending, then you are being reductive, and you are downplaying the idea that African-Americans had any agency in their own destinies. You are, as was the case with the creators of the movie version of The Help, co-opting the black experience.
The story Skeeter publishes entitled The Help, creates a disturbance among the white families in Jackson, by exposing the racism the maids are faced with, forcing the white families to reflect upon how they have treated their maids. The storyline represented in The Help exhibits examples of the primordial approach to race and ethnicity, as well as numerous sociological concepts including segregation, internalized oppression, and white privilege, which will be exemplified in this paper in order to uncover the race relations evident within this film.
The shot shows white police manhandling and cuffing her, but when they swing at her head with a baton, the impact of the weapon against her skull is cut out of the frame. An incident of racial violence that illustrates the cost of the main villain’s quest for separate bathrooms for African-American servants is left out of the movie entirely. Even a notably gory miscarriage scene from the book is reduced to a blood-soaked nightgown and an artfully smeared bathroom floor visible only for a moment.