Friday, January 07, 2011

After a year of friends urging me to read it, I finally started "The Help" (Kathryn Stockett) after our Christmas guests (nine days worth) had gone home. Wow! I understand what the 'talk' is all about! This is a book with a lot to teach us about the racial divide and the absolute necessity for the civil rights movement (of the 60’s... and beyond.)
Growing up in the 60’s in a northern state where no-one in our little rural town had any kind of help, we did not have segregation in schools or businesses, libraries, etc. When in middle school, I really admired one of my school-mates who was black and we had a lot of fun together in gym class and the cafeteria, though we never ‘crossed the line’ to spend time in each other’s homes.
Had I not moved to another town, I wonder if our friendship might have grown or dwindled as we entered high school. It is hard to recall the atmosphere of the times from this perspective. I was too naive at the time to even understand that the civil rights movement was happening. My parents sheltered me from much of the world.
Now that I read how my contemporaries in the south were being raised at the very same time, I am utterly shocked! I need to find someone who was living in the south in the 50’s – 60’s who will talk about this. Are these characters realistically portrayed? Could any woman really have been as grotesque as Hilly? Did she/they actually think of themselves as kind Christian women? Didn’t they have any clue as to the way Christ would have them relate to their 'help'? Well, at least LuAnn seemed to understand, but she, like Elizabeth and all the others, was totally cowed by Hilly.
Men, women, and young adults of all colors need to read this book and then discuss where we’ve been and what we still need to attain for true equality. We can't complacently read books like this and think that things are all right now.

I just discovered a great discussion board. For some dialogue between readers of various races and ages check out this link:



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