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"The Help"

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by

Mechi Anelo

on 28 April 2015

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Transcript of "The Help"

“Skeeter”
Phelan, who is the protagonist of the story and a young white journalist, decides to write to write a book from the point of view of the maids (called at that time as “the help”).
Through this book she exposes the racism they face working for the white families.

Sociologist Doug McAdam has stated that, "in King's case, it would be inaccurate to say that he was the leader of the modern civil rights movement...but more importantly,
there was no singular civil rights movement
.
The movement was, in fact, a coalition of thousands of local efforts nationwide, spanning several decades, hundreds of discrete groups, and all manner of strategies and tactics—legal, illegal, institutional, non-institutional, violent, non-violent.
Without discounting King's importance, it would be sheer fiction to call him the leader of what was fundamentally an amorphous, fluid, dispersed movement."

The movement was characterized by major campaigns of civil resistance. Between 1955 and 1968, there were acts of nonviolent protests and civil disobedience between activists and government authorities.
During the Freedom Movement era, "Negro" was the preferred term used by civil rights supporters.


The first scene
shows how Minny, a black maid, was fired. The white woman who she worked for thought that “Negros” carried viruses and infections in their bodies. That’s why she prohibited Minny use any bathroom from the house and made her one just for herself, except the fact that this bathroom is outside the house and in bad conditions. The white woman had no mercy for Minny, and told her to go to her bathroom despite the heavy rain there was outside. Obviously Minny couldn’t go there, she lied going to a bathroom from inside the house and was discovered.
Historical Context
At that time there was a
Freedom Movement
in Mississippi, and throughout all the country called
The African-American Civil Rights Movement
.
"the Help"
The setting of “The Help” is during the

Civil Rights Era in 1963
, in
Jackson, Mississippi
.

These were social movements in the United States whose goals were to
end racial segregation and discrimination against black Americans and to secure their legal recognition and federal protection of their citizenship rights
.
This movement was particularly held in the South of the country, where Mississippi is located.

While most popular representations of the movement are centered on the leadership and philosophy of
Martin Luther King Jr.
, many scholars note that the movement was
far too diverse to be credited to one person, organization, or strategy.
This movie & book are the perfect example of what was happening at that moment and the discrimination that black people suffered working for the the white families
Mercedes Anelo
In the second scene
a meeting of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) was held in in the Phelan house (Skeeter’s house).
This was a very important meeting
, where Skeeter’s mother was going to be congratulated by the members of this organization (They were white American women).

Lulabelle (Contantine’s daughter) is the straw that broke the caamel's back. She doesn’t care what Miss Phelan tells her,
expressing she has the same rights and will take care of her grown mother.
This act is taken in a really bad way by the white members, and makes Miss Phelan fire her mother.

If she didn't fire her
, she would have been seen in a bad way by all the society.
But on the other hand
she could have stand for her and treat her as she usually did, as an equal and a member of her family.
At that time what society thought and said was very important. As the video shows Mrs Phelan was not proud of what she had done, that’s why Skeeter begged her to tell the real story, she was ashamed of her decision. That would not have been the case of a common white lady at that time.

Skeeter and her mother were an exception between these women. They didn’t discriminate their black employees, they treated them as equals and even family.
Their maid, Constantine, was old at that time and was slow and clumsy. This bothered the members of the organization
Full transcript