August 25, 2011, 9:30 pm
A couple days ago I went to see the film The Help with a good friend. My friend is African-American and is originally from the South. Prior to seeing the movie, I read a lot of commentary written by historians, critics, and friends of all racial backgrounds on the film. Some people loved the film, regardless of their race, while others were disgusted by its portrayal of a white heroine telling the story of black women, and still others refused to see the film.
As someone who studies the history of race in the United States, I thought it would be interesting to see how Hollywood portrayed racism in Mississippi in the 1960s. I asked an African-American friend, who had mentioned wanting to see the movie, to go with me so that we could talk about it afterward.
We both enjoyed the film in spite of how difficult it was to watch at times. Although it wasn’t entirely historically…