Black Women Historians come out against 'The Help'

The Association of Black Women Historians released a statement today, urging fans of both the best-selling novel and the new movie The Help to reconsider the popular tale of African American maids in 1960s Jackson, Miss., who risk sharing their experiences with a young white journalist. “Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers,” the statement read.

The group of scholars took issue with novelist Kathryn Stockett’s use of “black” dialect, her nearly uniform portrayal of black men as cruel or absent, and the lack of attention paid to the sexual harassment that many black women endured in their white employers’ homes. “The Association of Black Women Historians finds it unacceptable for either this book or this film to strip black women’s lives of historical accuracy for the sake of entertainment.” They further made clear that while they may disapprove of The Help as storytelling, they very much admire and respect the “stellar performances” of the movie’s black actresses like Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.

In EW’s cover story on the film, Davis (who plays Aibileen, the first maid to talk frankly with the white journalist, played by Emma Stone) acknowledged the charged conversations that were sure to accompany the film’s release. She says she too approached the novel with enormous suspicion, “because a white woman was writing what I felt was our story, and once again she’s going to get it wrong and she’s only going to skim the surface,” she said. Yet the story, and what she calls the deep humanity of the characters, won her over. “That’s what people bristle at: the maids,” she says. “I’ve played lawyers and doctors who are less explored and more of an archetype than these maids.”

The ABWH statement takes the film to task for seeming to suggest that after the assassination of Civil Rights pioneer Medgar Evers, the sole response of the black community was to quake in fear and anxiety. But it should be noted that at a recent special screening hosted by the NAACP, his widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, bestowed upon The Help her most passionate blessing.

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  • Michael

    Of course black people needed something to complain about even though the movie is about them! Why don’t they complain about those stupid and stereo type laden Tyler Perry movies. Now those are something to be offended by. Plus I like how they only pointed out that the black female actresses were good. God forbid they praise anything that isn’t “black”.

    • gato

      You are an idiot

      • Tiffany

        Movies like this aren’t intended to be documentaries that explore EVERY nuance of history. People should be celebrating the fact that this movie might encourage people to look more closely at the time period in our nation’s history.

      • Nicole

        My goodness. It’s not like the entire Italian culture needed to come out and say — please don’t make Jersey Shore. It makes us look like greasy, unintelligent baboons. Why should it be any different for any other group of people? I don’t get it. It’s entertainment. Not a biography.

      • jdh

        Actually people from New Jersey and Italians got upset about Jersey Shore show. Some Italian groups were also upset with the Sopranos due to certain depictions.

      • JPX

        They just didn’t like looking like idiots. Here we have people that want to censor everything that doesn’t fit their historical revisionist perspective of themselves. They have a completely delusional agenda.

      • kila4u

        @gato I COMPLETELY agree.

      • You know what?

        I’ll believe that a film “promotes racial harmony and understanding” or whatever when I drive past a movie theater and see black people and white people, who had never laid eyes on each other two hours previously, standing around outside talking to each other about the film in question. Judging by the vitriolic and defensive tone of this comment board, we’re all still a long, long way away from that ever happening.

      • miley

        seriously, all you whitte people give me a rash! Stop trying to tell us to stop pulling the race card! W wouldnt go crazy, if your fat uncle sam wasnt bombing everyone for freedom! piss off!

      • JMilano

        I mean…where were the WWII veterans complaining about Saving Private Ryan? Or the Vietnam vets complaining about Forrest Gump? Did the jewish population complain about the Pianist?
        Last time I checked…filmmakers turned those hardships into entertainment.
        IT’S a MOVIE.

      • Michelle B.

        Would you all just be quiet and go sit back down in the back of the bus?

      • Michelle B.

        Of course the blacks dont like any movie that doesnt involve drugs and pimps and hos.

      • pickle t1ts

        Michelle B. eats cox n’ dix

      • Anna Rosen

        Agreed—-that poster is an idiot. And I don’t feel like bothering to explain why.

      • Stephanie

        this film is in no way a ‘starting point for conversation about that time period’. and even if it is, that’s screwed up in and of itself. it takes a white woman writing a movie about what black women went through to start a conversation? she’s not the voice of the ’60s housekeeper, she’s a white woman who apparently felt bad looking back. she still didn’t clean her own damn house no matter how ‘awful’ she felt, so screw her.

      • Sabrina

        @Michelle B. Wonder what your last initial stands for? Oh that’s right. It rhymes with rich LOL

      • JC

        No, you are

      • James Nelson

        You couldn’t have said it better. Unfortunately there are a lot of idiots out there.

      • gog

        no, you are obviously.

      • Denis

        just because the story, is kept clean and only addresses some of the problems,,,
        it was clear in showing there were good and bad,
        on both sides, but even the good employers were not so good, I have been told of instances where black and white were killed, for just talking to each other, etc,,, very dark and bad times for everyone,,,
        I think the movie showed the greatest good from the enlightenment of many.

    • Oak

      You are foolish and misinformed. ‘”Needed” something to complain about’ huh? Just because the movie is about ‘them’, they aren’t allowed to point out inaccuracies, is that what it is? And if you were better informed, you would know that Tyler Perry gets his share of criticisms. And it’s not ‘black people’ ‘complaining,’ its the Association of Black Women Historians making a statement they deem necessary: The ABWH does not represent all black people. You are a naive, common, everyday bigot: that’s a fact.

      • levelheaded

        And, it doesn’t seem like the ABWH complain very often.
        This is the first time I’ve ever heard of them making a statement like this. (Not to say they haven’t, just that they aren’t exactly doing it on a regular and/or unnecessary basis.)

      • Kat

        The book is a work of FICTION – the movie is based on this work of FICTION – Is anyone involved claiming that this story should be viewed as historically accurate or used as a factual reference for the actual experiences of that time? If you have a problem with the FICTIONAL interpretation of the period write your own book that is factual – no one is stopping you – Good luck and I hope you are able to tell a good story while you are at it – Until then there is no reason to go after a FICTIONAL story as if it’s being represented as an inaccurate historical account. It’s a FICTIONAL story turned into a Hollywood movie for ENTERTAINMENT (which you have a choice to consume or not) – not a documentary that will be shown in High Schools

      • AcaseofGeo

        unlike GLAAD who complains almost daily about minute “infractions”, rendering their crusade a joke. I think the ABWH is upset with what is missing, but I’d have to say that not every aspect of the lives depicted could’ve been accurately displayed.

    • Amy

      I’m with Gato. Michael, you’re an idiot and a moron. And let us not forgot you’re probably a bigot of the highest order.

      • Barbara Price

        If the movie makes people think and dialogue with each other then it isa good movie. The audience was engaged in the movie and clapped at the end of it.. The acting was excellent and it makes you think about the evils of racism. It also showed that the domestics were responsible for bringing up the owners children but were denied basic rights. I liked the movie and would recommend it.

      • Owen

        probably?

      • Sina

        At first I didn’t want to see it but I will to see how the author (who was one of those white kids raised by Black maids) view racism. I still truly believe this movie should show the sexual harassment those maids went through. Just remember Strom Thurmond, the senator who was so for segregation, got his 15 year old Black maid pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Addox

        Don’t forget Michelle B$%^&&&*

      • gogg

        why do white people bother? no matter what they say, no matter that it is the truth in most cases, they will be shot down with the magic work racist! or bigot.

    • bringbackrocky

      EW, this is the time when we need you to block these types of racist comments. At least give us the option of reporting these comments.

      • Michael

        I have ever right to say my opinion. And I’m not a bigot, my wife is puerto rican. I’m just sick of any race that has to come out and complain about anything that’s about them even when it’s supposed to be positive. Yet filmmakers like Spike Lee can continue to portray white people as an evil race and yet we are not allowed to voice our displeasure of how we our portrayed without being called a racist. Why can’t I voice the same opinion that black people seem to have of white people. sounds like reverse racism to me.

      • Greta

        Well, I’m sick of your race, whatever it is, Michael, since you seem to have to complain even more, even when it’s not about you. Do you not see how that makes us just as sick of YOU?

      • Michael

        No! I will stand up for what I believe in. I’m sick of reverse racism and no one admitting it exists! My brother was put in the hospital in Wisconsin at a fair that a bunch of black people started for no reason other than the fact that he was a “white bi***”. What was the point of that and how can something senseless like that not affect how you see an entire race anymore?

      • Alex

        Michael, there is no such thing as “reverse racism.” Prejudice against African Americans, or Caucasians, or Latinos or Asians or WHOEVER will always just be racism.

        you can talk all you want about anything you’d like but nobody’s going to take you seriously unless you prove yourself to possess some form of intelligence, which you haven’t in this case.

      • Michael

        Sorry Alex, don’t really care what you say either until you’ve been in my shoes and have seen what I’ve seen. maybe you should live in the real world and see what’s really going on. And the fact that you just insulted the fact that my brother was assaulted in a senseless riot that some mob started probably means you’re a pretty horrible person. So Go F*** yourself you A**h***

      • Michael

        And you probably hate white people I’m sure.

      • Alex

        Sorry, I actually didn’t read anything in your post beyond “reverse racism.” I am sympathetic to what’s happened to your brother, I’m sorry that’s horrible what happened to him and nobody deserves that, especially for no reason. I wish him a speedy recovery. I stand by my comment but only as it pertains to the reverse racism part because it really bothers me when people use that false term.

      • Jay

        Michael I think you make valid points and your anger is justified but posting on an EW page that nobody is going to even see tomorrow is a waste of your time, man. and you come off as too hysterical, not saying you are but thats how it reads dude and nobody likes that. I get why you are but the web is not the correct forum for your rage. say what ya gotta say but understand people aint on your side for a reason. and dont bother respondimg to me cause i will never look at this page again.

      • Jason C.

        Michael: I’m a black male engaged to a white female living close to the University of Wisconsin campus in Milwaukee. I.E. I’m not far from the Wisconsin State Fair where the hate crimes took place. While I understand your frustration, choosing to stereotype every black person as hating white people and wanting to hate and complain about anything white people do is wrong. Personally, I hate Tyler Perry movies, and as a light skinned black man I am also aware of the type of racism his films perpetuate within the black community. The problem with your assessment is 1) there’s no such thing as “reverse racism”, that’s saying that only caucasians are racist and blacks reverse the racism. You’re showing a brand of racism that you don’t seem to recognize in yourself: whites create everything and blacks have to use what the whites have created against them. 2) The violence at the state fair was a bunch of kids, not educated people. To associate what happened at the state fair to your brother with a group of educated historians complaining about a film they feel marginalizes what black domestic workers have gone through is asinine and ignorant. Yeah, there’s racism on all sides, but this is not a case of racism, it is a case of a group that feels that the stories of domestic workers could have been told better. That also means that it’s not the place to air your grievances concerning racism. I highly recommend that you seriously think about what it is that you’re trying to say and not let your anger cloud your judgement when it comes to these matters.

      • Michael

        Well said.

      • Jay

        @Alex: If you think there is no such thing as “reverse racism” you are completely clueless and naive. I see it ALL THE TIME!!!

        by the way, I’m NOT defending Michael…. he is a racist tool

      • anon

        You are a hypocrite. So because your wife is puerto rican you cannot be racist not even ignorant to black people pointing out inaccuracies. But you say black people can be racist against whites even though they are subject to it too–true.

        So that means a white guy married to a puerto rican can still be racist against others.

        Think before you type.

      • Jenna

        I’VE SEEN THIS MOVIE THEIR IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT SO THESE LADIES NEED TO SHUT THE HELL UP. AND FOR THE RECORD THIS IS COMMING FROM A BLACK PERSON WHO SAW THE MOVIE OPENING DAY

      • Stephanie

        Michael white people are an evil race. Have you ever looked into history? If there’s one thing white folks are good at it’s killing off and stealing from other races. Then looking at the races that you screwed over and wondering why the hell they can’t just be more like white people.

    • SC

      One of their main complaints is that the movie is not, in fact, about them.

      I liked the movie, personally, but it’s hardly above debate, particularly given how enormously complicated many of these issues can be.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly, SC!

        We can’t expect any historical film to be able to portray the many variables of any era accurately without it turning into a documentary. Even an 8 disc documentary couldn’t sum up Jackson, MS in this time.

        It’s foolish to expect this film to cover all sides of the story. If you want so badly to have accuracy portrayed, then write your own books and films. And until you do, someone else just might right in on your behalf. And it’s not spite – maybe they just want to.

      • Owen

        I’m a bleeding heart white liberal, probably the first to yell “racism” (its so sad that I’m forced to do it so often, my Facebook friends get very tired of my postings). BUT, I loved this movie. And though I sympathize with what the historians say, all I could see were the young women in the audience, white and black, who probably didn’t realize how horrible it was down there at that time (yes I’m sure it was much worse that what the film portrayed) but I can’t help but think a lot of those white girls (and the guys too) in that audience are going to be a changed a little, maybe a little more tolerant themselves. People hate to admit it, but a lot of societal change comes from mass entertainment. Not from reading history. The gays have progressed to the point they are now because we have see and loved them in films and on TV. And that in turn has allowed more gays to come out, circularly allowing more straights to “know” them and accept them. I can’t think that “The Help” is anything but a force for good.

    • Delroy

      Does Aunt Jemima make an appearance in this? Most white people are unaware that she was a reak person. Her legacy of pancake products live on to thos very day.

    • Lyrad Llavots

      Michael

      It’s 2011, and I think that progressive blacks are tired of Hollywood producing these cliched “AUNT JEMIMA, COLOR PURPLE, DRIVIN’ MISS DAISY” bull****, so you pseudo-liberal whites can feel better about yourselves.

      …Btw, 99% of Hollywood’s productions are SOLELY white, so spare me/us your “WHOA IS ME” disenfranchised white male dogma – It’s annoying.

      • bobba

        Actually, most hollywood producers are Jewisj, but I digress..

      • Templar

        You both need to spellcheck.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, ‘The Color Purple’ is based on the Alice Walker novel. Alice Walker is an African-American author.

      • Sabrina

        @anonymous and as I recall, The Color Purple still got plenty of criticism when it came out. It was directed by Steve Spielberg and people were all pissy about that, too. Apparently, some though a black person should’ve directed it in stead. Amazing to me that here we are in the 21st Century and this country is just as racially divided as ever.

    • another idiot claiming “reverse racism”

      You can be PREJUDICED against anyone. Whites against blacks. Blacks against whites. Asians against latinos. Latinos against blacks. Latinos against whites. Whatever. Prejudice exists in all races.
      But RACISM can only exist when there is POWER to support that prejudice. There is NO SUCH THING AS RACISM AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE (even though there might be prejudice against them) because there is no group with enough POWER to enforce their prejudice.
      When we see white people being SYSTEMATICALLY discriminated against by the criminal justice system and the foster care system and the public education system and banking industry (the way that those systems discriminate against black people), then you can whine about racism against whites.
      Until then, shut up, you ignorant bigot.
      signed,
      A WHITE MAN who is ashamed of people like you.

      • Eli

        Well that’s just the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Racism is racism, it doesn’t matter who does it, where it happens or how many people are involved.
        For some reason you seem to think racism only counts if it is done by “the system” or “the man”, but that is such utter nonsense because racism is not just about actions, it’s about thoughts and beliefs.

        By your definition neonazis aren’t racists because they are a minority. That’s just hilarious to me.

      • me,Baby,ME

        @ELI: Sorry pal, “WHITE MAN” up there is very correct. Racism is an expression of derisive oppression that can only be employed by a group containing enough power to effectively restrain any given population and impinge upon their freedom/ability to feel an accurate sense of their own self worth. The act of racism requires quite a bit of a perceived socioeconomic superiority and support, which is, currently, only had by “whites” in this country.

      • John

        Well said!
        Prejudice without Power is just an Opinion. It is not Racism.
        Racism requires that there be power (structural power or individual power) to actually implement the prejudice.

      • Tuskegee_Brown

        Eli, if you read any scholarly journal or take an academia class on race you will learn that the above poster is exactly right. Many American lump stereo-typing, bigotry, prejudice, and racism into the same category; whereas, each one is unique. A person can believe that all Mexicans came to the U.S illegally, wear big sombreros, are involved with gangs, and have 9+ children. We would all agree that that person would be a bigot because he is devoted to his belief and prejudices. However, if that same person treats every Mexican like he would treat any other race (hire him, promote him, rent to him, give him the same quality service at a restaurant, approve a loan, etc) then by definition he would not be a racist. It is only when a person starts to act on their prejudices and bigotry by suppressing the rights/freedoms/opportunities of another race that it crosses over into racism.

      • Lily

        Bravo!

      • Mr. Fitch

        Racism is the idea that one race is suoerior than the other. Simple as that sooooooo as a black man i really hate to be the one to tell you but white can suffer racism. Predudice has to do more with preferences. Look it up in the websters. Power makes it easier to act out you racism. Im here all night thank you

      • umm, actually

        Sorry, Mr. Fitch, but as another black man, I am here to tell you that YOU are wrong. Prejudice without power is essentially nothing more than an opinion. Racism only happens when there is power behind the opinion. Which is why there is no such thing as “reverse racism” — it is only a stupid idea made up by whiney white people who want to complain.

      • Owen

        Racism is racism. And I’d argue the young black men who injured the white man in Wisconsin held power over that white young man in those moments and were racists. Now, there are different forms of racism, societal racism is mostly white on black hate, because societally whites have the power over blacks. Prejudice isn’t hate, its ignorance. But hurting someone due to your beliefs is racism.

      • Dorothy Johnson

        Thanks for this. Most people don’t know the distinction. All of us are prejudiced to some extent (perfer to be with our own kind, etc.), but not all of us are racist with the power to harm others with our racist views!

      • BRavo!

        Right on!

        Everyone has their opinions and preferences and prejudices. But having the power to enforce those feelings into policy is what RACISM is.

      • Sifu Natalie Kravetz

        That’s an excellent point. And for the record, Black people do NOT ‘need’ more to complain about – they have seen and experienced plenty. I was one of those White children raised by a Black woman. Hell no she didn’t go home and tell her family about us, unless it was to roll her eyes at our privileged attitudes. The difference between our house and most? She had our mother’s blessing to discipline us whenever and however warranted. I remember cutting some switches, let me tell you. Nonetheless I grew up believing many stereotypes and it was not until in my 40′s that I began to see my own prejudices. And the only thing I KNOW about the experiences of Black people is that I will never understand what it is to be a minority, not ever. And if this group of scholarly women want to talk about this issue, it is they I will be paying attention to, not the apologists for the author of the book. Yes, she was well-meaning, but as with so many such acts, she seriously missed the mark. Had she simply interviewed women in real life, as her character did in her book, she might have written a story that resonated with both Black and White women. Such as it is, for the most part Black women understandably have similar issues with the way their mothers and grandmothers are portrayed in ‘The Help’. We Whites need to get a clue that we HAVE NO IDEA what it is like to be reviled by more powerful people simply because of the color of our skin. When someone of another race and of different perspectives talks, for heaven’s sake LISTEN. It is a rare and wonderful gift you are being given – to see yourself through someone else’ eyes. It ain’t always pretty, but it’s always educational. Just listen. You may learn something.

      • Denis

        WOW, what a mouth full, of what,, I do not know,,,
        but,,, the liberals ( democrats) have historically been against equal rights, and most black people vote democrat, wonder why,,, lies taught by media,,,
        truth education, ( knowledge ) will make you free,,,
        Freedom has its price,,, and so I as a white man want every one to be free,,, educated,,, equal,
        fed government pay for 100% of every school, same for every student, and parents and the student pick the school, public or private,,, then the equality will start to become a reality.

    • Dad

      Of course BLACK PEOPLE needed something to complain about even though the movie is about THEM! Why don’t THEY complain about those stupid and stereo type laden Tyler Perry movies. Now those are something to be offended by. Plus I like how THEY only pointed out that the black female actresses were good. God forbid THEY praise anything that isn’t “black”.

      Can you hear yourself?

    • mage?!

      Wow, are you really that ignorant of history. Does it seem like you are being mistreated somehow. The point of this is that it is historically inaccurate in a most heinous way, thus trivializing the hard times and real lives of women that lived at that time. The argument is sound, you need to educate yourself, it will make you seem less ignorant in public.

      • Bre

        You said it best!

      • Dorothy Johnson

        YES, most people (especially non-blacks) really are that ignorant of our country’s history! Been watching and listening to the comments ever since this movie came out. On ABC the other day, it was mentioned that the movie told the story more from the viewpoint of the maids, while the book told it more from the white girls’ point of view.

        I have also heard that it is a good film with superb acting by Viola Davis. I am a black female whose parents came from there during that very time period and I have heard from my mother all kinds of horrible stories!

        Nevertheless, I do intend to see this film, if only because someone had the courage to make it, probably already knowing the hatred-filled dialogue that would occur.

        Maybe if enough of these types of film are made, some of us will become more tolerant of other races. We must acknowledge that lots of things happened back then that caused a lot of pain, and then move on to make this country of ours truly great! However, moving on begins with aceptance, not by rewriting history. It’s time, don’t you think?

    • JACK HART

      @michael … u suceeded playing the “race” card (check the comments – lol) … just go away & have yourself a tea party to justify your stereotypes. ” i’m not prejudice because my wife is latino” LOL

      • Hezekiah

        It is these movies and television shows that we watch everyday that seperates us. Look at us! Argueing over a darn movie, when all that really matters is what should be done to improve the world around us. There are much more important things in the world. Its about time we realized that this world is bigger than just our own little trivial emotions. If you can control how the directors make their movies, than why get so upset over it. Its a waste of time and energy. We are adults! Lets talk and converse like adults. Words are powerful, and the more you say the word Racism, the longer itll exist. Come on, we’re better than this!

    • Caitlin

      Jason C. said everything I wanted to say. Well done, sir! :-)

    • Mr. Fitch

      I have not seen the movie but compared to Tyler Perry’s work it probably does us black people more justice than the lady thinks. I would not have a problem with her complaint if it was following an assault on Tyler Perry. It is harder for a white to understand the specifics of black culture when they were only observers up until recent. Give her a cookie for trying. I am sure there were white stereotypes and falsehoods in the film as well. I wish we could view our history as American and nothing else. That would destroy the divide. If we have to be watch dogs lets not play favorites, Lets go after everyone. Including once homeless, crossdressing, black man bashing: black male movie makers as well.

    • Free0n

      You idiot. Of course they would COMPLAIN!!! The movie is about THE HELP some damn servants! Why would you want to be proud of a movie that reminds you of a time when the only job a black could get was as a servant to whites? DUHHHH!!!!

    • alc

      I concur….you are an idiot. Tyler Perry has a lot of detractors that hate his work. I don’t have a problem with his work because he’s telling stories not based on fact. If a person is re-creating history on stage or film, dramatic license should not allow you to CHANGE history lik in “Help”.

    • DM

      Actually, you’re wrong Michael. There are many blacks who do take offense to Tyler Perry’s portrayals of blacks as well. And no, it’s not a question of making a movie that’s “about blacks,” but making a movie that doesn’t glorify stereotypes. Typically, the negative media images of blacks overwhelmingly outweigh the positive ones, so yes, blacks do yearn for positivity in the entertainment industry.

    • Missy

      you know they don’t speak for all blacks.

    • Jenn

      please be quite. you sound like a complete idiot!

      • Michelle B.

        Please be quite what?

    • Cecily

      Dr. King would have wanted this.

    • Deonka

      It is true that the movie did not portray every injustice that was bestowed upon our people. However, if it had, the movie would be 400 years long. I still think the movie was a great idea and I am also elated that someone thought to make such a movie. A for effort at the very least. As for you sir/mam, I am behooved to mention that you have racist tendencies.

    • Bre

      We arent really looking for special recognition. Especially a “tale” about us written by a white woman who of course, could never relate to what our people felt. The movie dresses it up so pretty, though it was sad. Our people were opressed and that is ignored. Yes Tyler Perry is definitly just another menstrual show, and i cant say that i appreciate his movies or plays either. Please dont be disrespectful though, talking like u wish times had never changed.

      • Friday

        Menstrual show? Wow, that sounds bloody!

      • BP

        Oh Jesus. I’m sure you meant to say Minstrel show. Sigh.

    • al

      blacks do complain about tyler perry movies. havent u heard spike lee’s comment bout tyler perry movies. why don’t u do your research

    • JMilano

      I mean…where were the WWII veterans complaining about Saving Private Ryan? Or the Vietnam vets complaining about Forrest Gump? Did the jewish population complain about the Pianist?

      Last time I checked…filmmakers turned those hardships into entertainment.

      IT’S a MOVIE.

    • cj daLady

      Just because you don’t see it in print, does not mean there are not complaints from AA about Tyler Perry and his movies. What was the purpose of this movie “Help” and book anyway? I for one will not read or go see the movie! This is America 2011 and nobody wants to see AA women being degraded on the big screen. You just opened up many wounds for many of AA maids from long ago… “A feel good movie”, for whom”? Whites that wished it were still that way. Please give me a break!!

    • Nichole

      Its not that we BLACK folks need something to complain about, some of us look at things diffrently! They were saying maybe if a BLACK auther would have wrote the book it would have had a diffrent outlook! And as for Taylor Perry he is taking stories from he own life! Shame to say it but some of us do act like that! But its coming from a BLACK man and some of us are comfortable with that!

    • S. Mathis

      The thrust of this movie is the black experience used to promote the white heroine. When was the last time you saw a movie done the other way around. Its a movie designed to make white people feel better about themselves. Make a movie with whites in lower stations in life and black people as the heroines and see if there is oscar buzz or any buzz whatsoever (see ‘Miracle at St Anns’).

    • Andre

      Michael you have to be the dumbest person on earth. I really feel sorry for your parents who should have aborted your trash self

    • ryan

      Amen, Michael

    • Michelle B.

      Why are black people complaining? They cant go see this movie anyway — movie theaters dont accept food stamps.

      • Dorothy Johnson

        Shame on you! Cowards hide behind the web to disguise their ignorance! Feel especially for any children you might have. Heaven help them as they try to compete in a global society with those self-limiting ideas!

    • pickle t1ts

      Michelle B. sux cox n’ dix

    • Truth

      Black want everything handed to them on a silver platter. Then they want the silver platter.

      • Lauren

        You don’t know WHAT the f–k blacks want stupid so crawl back under your hole and to the a**hole Micheal big whoop what about Oscar Grant prick?!! Oh and nice diversion tatic briging up Tyler Perry who has NOTHING to do with this conversation! Your idea of ‘reverse racism’ is what I call K-A-R-M-A!

    • Tiffani

      Wow Michael! Please note that “THEY” are not just saying that this is a terrible film. “THEY” are just stating that this film only give a limited perspective on the occupation of the African American maid during this sensitive time in “our” (both black and white) history. Also, Tyler Perry movies are debatable in the African American community. I know plenty of African American people who hate how African American men are depicted in Tyler Perry movies. Try actually talking to a group of African American people about his movies, YOU will get mixed reviews. And Michelle B., I am a BLACK FEMALE social worker (AKA-”THEY/THEM”) please believe that there are just as many white people or people of other race on food stamps. In fact, maybe me or one of my “black” friends (who have never been on food stamps) can pay for YOUR movie with our money we have earned with corporate AMERICAN jobs. Signed. . . ~*One of “them”

      • Sifu Natalie Kravetz

        LOL I work in a DES (Food Stamps, Medicare, etc) and you can bet there are plenty of whites standing in line. Amen sister, amen.

    • jas

      dont generalize. im black and i loved the movie. so lets not make these broad statements. its impossible to satisfy everyone. and i think that the black historians are being trivial in their complaints. its a great film. period.

    • nancy

      mike you need to go to your corner for time out or take a nap because you are out of order.

    • sb

      We do complain about the stereotype laden caricatures of Tyler Perry movies. I’m not surprised you haven’t read any of them because it would upset your negative view of “black” people.

    • Subrins

      Michael you are a complete an total idiot.

    • Henry

      Someone sounds a little jealous, maybe cause you can not get a black women to date you… and first off stop thinking all black people have the same opinion… do all whit people have the same opinion.

    • Janet

      “Of course black people needed something to complain about even though the movie is about them! Why don’t they complain about those stupid and stereo type laden Tyler Perry movies.”

      We do. And, we will continue to critique (“complain”) the stereotype and narrow imagery created by white Hollywood or Tyler Perry because it is a way to educate, enlighten and potentially change the ideas of those who might believe that such characterizations represents the spectrum of black women/people.

    • Sabrina

      Some Black people, not all. As for me, I’m not going to get my panties in a twist over this film. It’s just one film of the thousands of movies that come out. If someone doesn’t like it, just don’t go. It’s that simple.

      • Viktor

        What i don’t understood is if truth be told how you’re now not acultaly much more neatly-appreciated than you may be now. You are so intelligent. You understand thus considerably relating to this matter, produced me for my part consider it from so many numerous angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated except it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs great. All the time take care of it up!

    • Susan

      I think its FIRST a social deirse. I have a handful of students who participate regularly with us (small group, events, missions.) But are also connected to other groups mainly because they are following their social networks/connections around.SECOND I think a felt-need and/or consumer mentality is the other reason. I get fed here or This is where I find fellowship or I like their missions option better .We live in an age of options. I think we are only going to see more of this.

  • Keith

    I was expecting this. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m not black and I haven’t seen the movie. I have great respect for all the actors involved, particularly Davis who is emerging as one of our best. I think it’s just going to be one of those films that divides people, particularly in the black community.

    • Summer

      I haven’t seen the movie either, but the movie has a pretty great cast of actors in it. I’m going to be seeing it for that, at least.

      • Keith

        Yeah. Unlike many of the other posters here, I understand the scholars’ concern. But I also feel compelled to support the actresses in the movie, black and white. The black actresses in this movie are getting more press and notoriety for this movie than they have for anything they’ve done. And I think Davis’ point in the story is pretty profound. Good roles for women, particularly women of color, are hard to come by. She took the role even with concerns and I’ll support her and the other actresses and their work.

  • Robert Taylor

    I can understand complaining about the black dialect in the novel, but is about the novel or the film?

    Also, it wasn’t just black men who were absent or abusers in the book, ALL MEN were absent. The novel is about WOMEN, not about the men who interact with them. The most detailed male in the book is Skeeter’s boyfriend (barely there in the film) who is a drunk. If you are going to make the argument, understand the context of the argument being made.

    • Tim

      Truth

    • kate middleton

      Really good point. Even if it may not be totally historically accurate, the book is extremely sympathetic and positive to the housekeepers. I liked reading about Aibileen and Minny much more than Skeeter (she annoyed me in the book). You gotta take it in the spirit of what it’s trying to do, and not break down every little detail.

      Looking forward to seeing the movie – I know that Viola Davis will shine.

      • DK

        The fact that the book was written in the voice of a black woman BY a white woman is what turned me off the most. Not to mention there’s a lawsuit the author’s lawyers are trying to get dismissed by the author’s brother’s maid, Ablene, who claims the main character Aibileen, was based off her likeness.

      • kate middleton

        I can understand that as a valid concern – the dialect and stuff. But I’ve read lots of other books (read a lot of Southern lit) that do the same thing, and I don’t hear any criticism about it. I just think a lot of criticism of the minutae misses the overall point and spirit of the books.

    • DK

      It was an argument against the movie as well as the book. Read the entire letter ABHW sent because they go into detail. Only black man that was ever mentioned in the book happened to be a drunkard and gave the illusion that that’s all they were good for, according to them.

      • Amelie

        Not true, the characters of Treelore and Robert are both depicted as kind and intelligent black men. Sure, Minny’s father is described as an alcoholic, and her husband is an abusive drunk, but maybe the point was to illustrate how even a woman as strong as Minny can be the victim of abuse, as so many women are.

    • madhattter

      I see no reason to get upset about the dialect. I especially don’t think that it matters that it’s a white woman writing this book using the dialect. Huckleberry Finn is one the of the greatest anti-slavery novels. It was written by a white man, and used dialect. I’m sure Mark Twain could have gone into greater depth about what Jim experienced, but it would have taken away from the story.
      Maybe the movie could have portrayed the lives of these women in more depth, but the movie itself was already nearly 2 1/2 hours long. I’d rather see the story told well, and not explore some areas, then be done poorly because it covered these issues poorly or slowed the movie to stop and tell us about it.

    • Sabrina

      Exactly. There are plenty of movies out there where women are rarely shown or nonexistent. Military movies tend to be notorious for excluding women unless they are wives. Top Gun is one of them. Most of the women in that film are appendages to men. As a military vet, I get more than a little annoyed to women veterans get short shrift in films or they are stereotyped as well.

  • nunnya

    I’ll be shelving out $12 for The Help this weekend. I don’t need the blessing of anyone to see it.

    • Elizabeth

      I’m with you nunnya. I also will be shelving out my money to see this movie. I read the book and thought it was well written and not offensive at all. I’m a black woman and found it to be very enlightening. I surely don’t need anyone’s blessing to see it either.

      • Templar

        Shelving? You must mean shelling.

    • Sabrina

      Agree. I think I’m going to hold out until it’s on DVD or at the on demand on my cable channel.

  • whatevs

    There’s an Association of Black Women Historians? If only these special interest groups had enough self awareness to realize that they do more harm to their cause than good. No one is going to respect a group that’s self-righteous and ignorant, which is what most of these groups are.

    • Stephanie

      What surprises me most is the fact that…okay. They knew this movie was going to be made. Movie projects are always announced in the media, and so are casting decisions. Why didn’t they step up earlier, perhaps to help make the movie more accurate or something? Why step up now and cry foul, instead? As historians, shouldn’t they have, I don’t know, been more proactive?

      • SC

        They have. “The Help” has attracted numerous criticisms since the book was published.

    • Oak

      Don’t be an idiot. What harm did they do by stating that the movie had historical inaccuracies? That’s their duty as a historical group. How are they ignorant when in effect what they are doing is pointing out the ignorance/errors involved in the movie? Just shut up and enjoy your white, privileged life.

      • dee

        Lots of movies have historical inaccuracies. Look at The Patriot with Heath Ledger & Mel Gibson. Historically wise that’s a train wreck.

      • psyche

        My biggest issue with their big press release (well timed) was that the “inaccuracies” they pointed out were really quibbles; if you’re going to complain, have something proper to complain about:

        1. Lack of sexual harrassment shown. Its a story of ~ 3 black female characters which is a rather small population sample — it shouldn’t be expected to be all encompassing of every experience(?)
        2. Poor male portrayal. All males (black and white) are portrayed poorly or absently in the book. It’s a female driven narrative.
        3. “Black” dialect. Every book I’ve ever read set in the south (the colour purple, for eg) has a dialect. Because people have dialects. As long as they don’t sound like jar-jar binks, I think they are probably overreacting.

      • Tia

        @psyche | 8/12/11, 12:22am
        Well said. I agree.

      • whatevs

        Oak, I am not white, nor privileged, but thanks for making assumptions.

        The harm is that rather than getting people to see their point of view, they are portraying themselves to be whiny. Whether it’s true or not, that’s how it’s coming off to people, which completely takes away from their purpose.

        However, judging by your quickness to decide what my race and social status are, I wouldn’t expect you to understand something complicated like an opinion.

    • Ed

      I am so sick of whining, complaining white people (and I am white) who think that any other race having an opinion about how they are portrayed or seen is somehow an attack on all white people, anywhere. It’s like these white people are so determined to see themselves as VICTIMS that they refuse to stop for two seconds and ask whether the complaints have any merit. No, the first time anyone mentions race (or to some extent, feminism, or gay rights), the WHINING WHITE MEN jump up and down about how hurt they are and how nobody knows how to relax and everything must be just fine because THEY feel fine about it. Except, of course, how they’re constantly victimized by people asking them to think! These WHINING VICTIM LOSERS are one and all pathetic.

      • Mark

        Speaking of whining…

      • Zach

        You’re not white.

    • Dinjab

      Yes, and there’s even a leaflet of Famous Jewish Sports Legends.

      • Serge’

        And a pamphlet on Italian war heroes, and a post-it with the Polish Who’s Who on it.

    • Historian

      @whatevs
      As a historian of women I am appalled at your derisive comment about the ABWH. These women (mostly) are among the most educated and accomplished scholars of our time. How can one claim “they do more harm than good” when they are pointing out the historical realities that the book and film negate and gloss over? Their statement reveals that they are fully aware (and rightly so) that so many Americans with little knowledge of US history will come out of the theaters thinking this was really the way it was without any understanding of the long term history and legacy of domestic service.
      For the record, I am a white woman.

      • Gracie

        Turns out I might have a meeting after work on that day. Will let you know if I can make it.Ah, The Follow. I have the whole BMW Films sieers on DVD. Watched The Follow when they first released it on the internet. The DVD version is slightly longer though, small additions to nearly every other scene. Didn’t feel that it added much. In fact, the original edit was much tighter and better for it.I like The Follow a lot. Once again, impeccable music choice.My other favourite in that sieers is by Guy Ritchie. Just plain fun. Clive Owen displays a very different take on his driver character than in most of the other short films.Oh yes, Clive Owen fans, you’ll want to watch all the BMW Films. I thought he would make a good James Bond because of his acting here.@ PY My goodness, PY, you have very good eyesight. Yes, I was late, so I tagged along with another group. Walter and Georgiana were in the group too!It’s been a long day, so haven’t had time to upload my photos.

    • Sabrina

      An interesting question is if this group of scholars are so concerned about ‘getting the story right”, why didn’t they see to work as technical advisors to the film? or perhaps write a book or do a movie of their own? I’m tired of people who complain but do nothing to improve a situation. I don’t care who you are. That’s boring. If you ask me, some of the people complaining are just jealous of the author’s success.

  • John

    “Black Women Historians” this pisses me off so much. American film basically only goes back to the 1940′s thanks in large part of a fear to not be sensitive enough to the times. 150 years worth of film ignored and now a relatively positive film that tries to show a realistic portrayal of black women in the 60′s isn’t good enough because of what exactly.

    • ablackperson

      I find it fascinating that this group’s opinion is being trivialized. Why can no one emphasize that this story does not touch on the complexity of the experiences of these maids. Can no one have a different opinion? Why is it when an African American organization doesn’t like something it becomes “all black people”? Calm down and remember it’s only a group of people’s opinion (NOT A RACE)

      • John

        Because this one organization is preaching a form a fascism. Pushing an agenda into all forms of art that cover this subject matter. Why don’t we see movies about the Revolutionary War? Why do programs like Deadwood and Boardwalk Empire need to have ridiculous subplots with black characters?

      • DK

        Let’s not forget this book was supposedly based on fiction. So if you’re going to write a fictional tale about how a white lady gave voice to however many so black women and make that time period seem like the only conflicts were white women being outraged… I mean have some perspective. This institution has a very good point. It romanticized a very serious and very dangerous time. Why not be more accurate?? And they are not preaching faschism they are preaching ACCURACY.

      • JulieB

        I agree, it is a highly charged, explosive and sensitive topic and it shouldn’t just gloss over the subject just to fit a 2 hour film. I respect the ABWH’s opinion on this.

      • Mr. Fitch

        It is a shallow story, isnt it a slight comedy or something. Maybe they are asking to much. Really who wants to see old white guys sexually harass old black women. I mean really. As far as dialect and misrepresenting blacks they should do a piece on b.e.t.

  • Henri M.

    Wow, is this really getting the backlash that Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker, The Blind Side and The Kids Are All Right got? It’s getting old.

    • stella

      yes, hopefully in time, people will accept Hollywood Portraying History as totally 100% accurate and bias free and we can just accept random filmmakers’ version of events as totally true instead of what professional historians say. hooray!

      • steve

        now there was an awful film – the hurt locker. so, so bad. and no, i’m not being sarcastic. it was awful.

      • @steve

        what?! clearly, sir, you have poor taste.

      • jennrae

        If any of the aforementioned flicks were bad it was The Blind Side.

  • Henri M.

    And I forgot Avatar.

    • Ed

      Avatar wasn’t racist, just stupid.

      • kate middleton

        People said it was racist though since all of the Na’vi were played by African American actors.

      • DK

        If you couldn’t see the racial intonations of Avatar then wel… You weren’t watching hard enough. Visually amazing, but if they had just used the actors instead of making them blue, you would see it exactly as it was for.

  • Z

    I think my mother put it best. She grew up in Alabama and her mother, grandmother, and all of the women in her family were “the help.” She says–and I agree–that it’s insulting and exhausting seeing our stories told by white folks over and over. Does anybody in their right mind think this movie would have been greenlit if it had been told by the ACTUAL “help” instead of a young, white woman? And finally, the very notion that this white girl could get inside the heads of these women calls for a wild suspension of disbelief. Black folks have always gotten by and gotten over precisely because their white employers NEVER really knew what we were thinking. So, anything this young white woman THINKS she knows about what we thought is patently wrong, or only part of the story. I’m tired of it. It’s The Blind Side all over again. A feel-good story for white people–at our expense. Again. Now, I like Viola Davis and Emma Stone, but I can’t bring myself to see this movie.

    • Keith

      I’m white. But I totally see your point. I have nothing add. What could I? I will probably see the movie, again, because I like the actresses involved. But I’ll see it knowing it is pretty much a fantasy.

      • Kousuke

        I’m not sure how that’s better than nolrepy + contact us here. In fact, I would argue it’s worse because it forces the author to go through a bunch of steps to resend the email (or forward it and inevitably not remove the header). Why not say Contact us here! so the user can click the link and BAM. Channel Open.

    • christie

      Please, please see this movie before you post a comment like yours. First and foremost, I agree with the post from Robert Taylor – men our all but absent in this movie (black & white) and I’m guessing that there just wasn’t enough time to cover their story. Women are the primary storytellers and if you watch the movie or read the book, you understand that the Skeeter character or Kathryn Stockett try to tell the story as much as possible from every character’s point of view but they don’t condescend or claim to be all knowing. Is it a perfect movie, no but it is so incredibly moving and I think a true depiction of the times not to mention that the acting is absolutely fantastic. I really don’t believe you can tell all stories from this time in one story but this story is told wonderfully and I urge you to see it before you pass judgment.

      • margaret

        nice positive post Christie — I was very engaged reading the book last summer, and even more engaged watching the film on opening day. This is rare. The film’s dialogue and beautiful acting brought nuances to the characters, deepening the impact the story had on me.

    • Michael

      Sounds like Z hates white people. Z is a racist!!!!

      • Dgently

        Michael, what the hell is wrong with you?

    • Megan

      Only black people can tell a story about black people? Men can’t tell stories about women? Women can’t tell stories about men? Can people only write stories about their own race, ethnicity, or gender? The only films I see told by African-Americans are really terrible Tyler Perry films. There are other great African-American filmmakers out there, and I wouldn’t be offended if one of them told a story about white people. It’s not supposed to be a story about white people. I go to the movies to see stories about people, regardless of the color of their skin.

      • Empress

        Z’s gripe is that someone else is ALWAYS telling our story. Where’s our voice? We’ve been relegated to speak through whites to get real critical acclaim.

      • Kvinna

        Agreed, Megan! People are people.
        We are all the same color, only the shades are different. Enough with the willful separation of the human race, it’s all kinds of ridiculous.

      • steve

        you want someone black telling your story? look to tyler perry. seems to me some of the best cinematic experiences about blacks have come from white people, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing (until you make it out to be one). look at the adaptation of The Color Purple or Amistad (both Spielberg). Neither gloss over or trivialize the african american plight.

      • Strepsi

        No, this specific novel aside it’s a real problem in Hollywood, where a racial story needs a white protagonist (for “us” to identify with, because “we” the audience don;t have natural empathy for minorities). And with so many great black actors it gets annoying, and it’s even worse when the white character ‘saves’ the blacks
        i.e.
        MISSISSIPPI BURNING – white leads
        INVICTUS – white lead (over Morgan Freeman for f***’s sakes!)
        THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND – white lead

        P.S. In our house we call “The Blind Side” “White Lady Saves The Day” ;)

      • Amber

        I just wonder: If this group is so bothered by the fact that a white woman is telling what they perceive to be their story alone (although I would argue that the book focuses on the relationship between the help and the children they basically raised and how that relationship shifts as society changes those children, so really Stockett had every right to write the story), but if they’re bothered so much by that, why not pick up a pen to write the story themselves rather than write a press release condemning someone who has tried to fictionalize it. The book is never portrayed as history. I don’t even understand why we need to be reminded that it’s fiction.

      • Z

        @Amber: What makes you think we HAVEN’T picked up a pen and tried to get really great stories told? Why is it that when we do, we don’t get Hollywood backing? Don’t assume we’re not trying. That’s what makes this even more stinging.

      • Z

        @Steve: Why is it, do you think, that Tyler Perry movies get funded? Could it be perhaps that this is a picture of black America that is stereotypical and thus, acceptable to the so-called mainstream? I personally can’t stand Tyler Perry movies. They don’t represent me or my family. But he gets funded and is able to raise big money to get his movies made. And in his defense–we pack the movie houses on opening day, so we have only ourselves to blame for his success. But when we want smart, moving, real stories told by the very people who lived them, they certainly don’t get this kind of hype.

      • Z

        Megan, you make a good point, but when there are so few stories told about your culture, you simply get weary of it being another one where we’re “the help.” I think we’ve moved beyond that being our one story. Why can’t stories about dynamic, contemporary black women get greenlit in Hollywood. If all I have to choose from is Tyler Perry’s nonsense or another Civil Rights saga, what does that say? Even if you read the EW piece, Viola struggled with taking the role. She gets it. But she only has so many opportunities to get a good acting gig. It’s a legitmate gripe.

    • Mary

      Wow! I just saw it and I saw it as a healing movie. I was the help when I was just 15 years old. I worked for a rich white and I am white.. I saw how she treated her black help. I always wondered why they had to wear white uniforms. I Wondered if they were nurses or had to go to school to wear them. You see I was a poor white who was told where to sit. When to enter a room and exactly how to interact, or not, with guests. I had to learn my place. The Help, helped me understand what I did not then. I was young, uneducated and niave. I think the story opens eyes to the class system in society. It was a sad time in our country.

    • kate middleton

      Z, you should try reading the book. I would argue that the main character is Aibileen (Viola Davis). The book starts and ends with her POV, and I found her much more convincing than Skeeter.

      Also, your point about “the help” not wanting to tell their stories or let a white person inside their heads is addressed extensively in the book. Skeeter sort of has an epiphany when Aibileen is reluctant to talk with her. And there is an event that percipitates the ladies agreeing to tell their stories (anonymously), but some are still reluctant. There is also lots of talk about the consequences of them telling their stories if they were to be found out. And the ladies told their stories and she just sort of typed them out to create the book.

      Really, it’s not as one-sided as you may think.

    • JulieB

      I totally agree, Z!

    • Elbyem

      As a sister – I’d suggest you at least attempt to read the book, before you condemn seeing the movie. Then, decide.

      • Z

        @Elbyem: You miss my point. I don’t want to subsidize this endeavor or this kind of storytelling. I would love to buy and read a book written by the actual “help” and further that author’s cause and career. So, I won’t be buying this book or seeing this movie. Don’t you get it? I would still be a part of this being a money-making effort, and that irritates me.

      • jennrae

        Z, as you have neither read the book nor seen the movie, how do you know it’s not worth your money? And surely there are things you pay for not knowing what kind of people are getting rich off of it, so what’s the difference? Although I do agree that there are a lot of instances in film, books, and so on where white people are black people’s champions, as if black people are just waiting for the approval and acceptance of white people. I think it happens with gay people, too, so that John Q. Public can pat himself on the back for being so progressive. It’s gross.

      • michael

        Now blacks should Know Why They keep getting treated like THE HELP!! Because of films like THIS!

    • Bazinga!

      A lot of the black commenters are upset. Okay, fine. If you don’t like it, stop complaining and get off your rear-end and write the real story. Z sounds like she would have a lot of stories based on her mother, grandmother, and other relatives being ‘the help.” I would definitely find that book interesting and would buy it; also would love to see the movie. If you are tired of the way you are portrayed, do something asbout it. Posting here is not gonna make a darn bit of difference, or change anyone’s mind.

    • DC

      Z…intriguing point. Similar to appropriating cultural components of Afro-American culture (dance, music, etc), the white powers that be are using black history to make money. I get that. The issue is why are black film makers not telling the stories. I recognise that in most cases the studios would balk at the ideas but what about the independants?

    • imho

      Thank You. From one Black woman to another, thank you.

      What really irks me is the author, who stated in another publication that she always thought the family maid “liked her best”. Gosh White woman, buy a clue. YOU and your families were a job. The maid didn’t care about you, probably couldn’t stand you. She cared about and LOVED her children and her family.

      If you want to really know what the “help” thought, read “Like One of the Family” by Alice Childress, a Black author.

    • Dorothy Johnson

      Speak your mind, because what you say is true. But some of us will go simply to see superb acting by black actresses, who rarely get to do serious roles. I’ll support it for that reason, just as I did by going to see “Jumping the Broom,” which was not nearly as good as I hear this film is. If we don’t support these types of films, they won’t make them.

      But I hear what you are saying. I also understand your mother’s viewpoint, because there is nothing like being there. My mother was there also!

      • Carley

        I am forever indebted to you for this iornfmation.

    • Sabrina

      So why aren’t the Black directors telling the stories of our people? Where’s Spike Lee? Where is Forest Whitaker who in 1998 did a movie about WHITE women in Texas (Hope Floats)? No one complained when he did that film, did they? Sheesh

    • Student

      Hi there, I am a student researching this controversy and would be very interested in talking to you?

  • abadstroller

    Somebody is going to feel short-changed, regardless. It’s not a perfect book or perfect movie to handle every issue that anyone would ever want addressed. The important thing, though: This is a part of American history that has not been treated with enough attention, and now people are asking the questions that should have been asked a long time ago. That the issues of racism and race are raised…this is a GOOD thing. Let the discussion continue….

  • stella

    Umm…….wtf are up with these comments. Color aside, they’re doing exactly what historians do – point out inaccuracies whenever they come up in historic portrayals on film. Yes, I’m sure they knew that it wouldn’t stop you guys from seeing the movie. It’s interesting to read about this, and I’ll keep it in the back of my mind when I see the movie.

    Some of these comments are condescending as heck – “listen black women historians, you should be grateful that black women are in movies at all, so stfu about minor quibbling details about whitewashing and gaping inaccuracies! it makes us feel good about ourselves and it has a happy conclusion, so begone with your naysayery. “

    • DK

      I’m sorry I lmao at ‘naysayery’ *clears throat, composes self* …. but I agree.

    • Amber

      It’s a movie. It’s not history. I didn’t read any press releases about how the racial make-up of Captain America’s team was completely historically inaccurate. This is not a question of historical accuracy. It’s a political issue that this group has hijacked in the name of historical accuracy. We are not stupid. We know the difference between a movie and history.

      • Uno

        Actually any google search for captain america will show you that there were people complaining about the very racial makeup of capt’s team and how another movie decided to overlook a pretty glaring issue for a feel-good movie moment.

    • Sabrina

      The job of an historian is to record history, not pick apart people who write fiction.

  • Hiro Kitty

    It’s a whitewashed superficial piece of fluff.

  • TS

    Everybody does realize this book/movie has a disclaimer right? It’s FICTION people! The book sells well and the movie will do great but it’s as bad as the mess with The DaVinci Code. It’s one persons thoughts and not a true telling of what really happened.

    • Tara

      Thank you! This seems like a silly argument. I’m not trying to trivialize the issue, but it’s one person’s lighthearted, fictional account of a time of civil unrest.

    • m

      Yes! Apparently a large majority of people can not understand that sometimes, books are written, or movies are made, for entertainment – not education. If you would like a historically accurate account of a time period, go to the library and pick up a book.

    • Ann

      Good point, but I disagree with the fooontte suggestion, having an autoresponse to reply to the auto-responders is playing with fire, you can easily create an infinite loop, and it’s sometimes very hard to detect it before it’s too late.To save myself from the headache I usually open a specialized contact address just for this, and then redirect it to the main contact e-mail, which allows me to easily filter those emails from the direct contact messages.

  • clayton

    Honesty why would you complain i understand bout it but its a really good movie i loved it! I think they need to just watch it. I mean its like saying white people should complain about kayne west runaway video where white people were serving them at the dinner table i mean come on people the movie and book is good get over it!

    • Oak

      Clayton, Clayton, Clayton. Pretty dumb comment dude. Really? ‘why would you complain’? It’s not ‘complaining,’ its a historical group pointing out historical inaccuracies in a movie about a portion of American history. It’s what they do. The thing is that they DID see the movie, and thats where they witnessed all the BS inaccuracies and omissions in it. And I’m sure a ton of white people were displeased with the KW video and spoke out against it too. The only difference between the two however is that kanye’s was not replication of a portion of American history as much as it was simply a purely fictional piece of video.

  • Guy

    And are any of these associations complaining when Tyler Perry releases his garbage movies? No. Instead, they heap awards and praise upon him.

    • SC

      Tyler Perry’s work has attracted its share of critics within the black community.

      And he doesn’t do period pieces, so these specific critics aren’t really relevant to his other work.

    • Keith

      Now THAT is a good point. The only thing I’d say in response to that is that Tyler Perry’s movies are not attempting to tell stories set in such a sensitive and important era of our nation’s history.

      • Z

        And nobody “heaps praise” on Tyler Perry for being historically accurate about anything! What a joke.

    • Marka

      Please let me inform you that Tyler Perry’s films are not considered to be the work of a cinematic genius in the black community. From reading many of the comments here, some seem to presume that he is universally celebrated within that community. He isn’t.

      • Dorothy Johnson

        Right. Many black people hate his films (and TV shows!) and do not go to see them! There are idiotic to the extreme, and most of the time any positive messages cut lost in the translation. Spike Lee was right!

      • jdr

        It is because Oprah acts as if he is the greatest even though he doesn’t do much better than other black directors. He made most of his hits on rip-offs of the Big Mama series and other black comedies. I am glad that most black people don’t like his stuff.

      • Sabrina

        Speak for yourselves. There are some of Tyler Perry’s films that I enjoyed such as Why Did I Get Married? I have mixed feelings about Madea. Don’t like the unflattering depiction but then all groups have similar steretypes of older large sized women. Do you see Britons complaining about Mrs. Bucket from keeping up appearances? The Aussies don’t see ashamed of Dame Edna. So why are we as Black people so damn oversensitive?

    • Lauren

      What does Tyler perry have to do with this dumbA##?!!

      • Sabrina

        Absolutely nothing. Unless one takes notice of the fact that some pick on Tyler Perry because he, too, is a verifiable success. Some people seem to have a problem with trying to lift themselves up . Plus they don’t want to admit that they are underachieving , talentless hacks. All they can do is try to do the crabs in a barrel thing and pull someone else down who is more talented than they are and that’s what happens when anyone, regardleess of race, writes a book or makes a movie that is a success.

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