The Help: by Kathryn Stockett
I admit that I watched the movie before reading this book, and sometimes it’s not a good thing to do, especially when the book fills in the blanks within the movie. Let it be said that I truly was touched and inspired (as a writer and human rights supporter) of the what this movie represented, but like always, the book was ten times better.
At first I was angry with the antagonists (white women) who were rude and disrespectful because of color and lies being spread about colored people. But then I remembered how this all began a long time before; out of fear and ignorance. So I delved into this story, be it fiction, about what it felt being a colored women working for white families. And I was touched by the women (protagonists of the story) and their bravery and faith that “change might one day come”. I was honored to have shared in their experiences; positive and cynical alike. It got me thinking how we hardly ever think about others and their part in this life. And although it was fiction, I’m sure there are many stories very similar to the ones in this book; both good and unpleasant.
The Help should be on the list for recommended reading in junior high and high schools. Young minds need to know that once upon a time people were different, and even though most of the past is still thriving today; change does happen. Young minds need to be aware of the sad fact that prejudice, racism, and ignorance are a part of many races and cultures, still to this day. It’s time to wake up these video game, texting, silly drama queens and show them what’s really going on outside their door. Books like these can definitely lead the way.
I was deeply moved by the story of Minny, her defensive attitude towards white women as well as her awkwardness during the most meaningful experiences. At the same time, holding my breath reading Aibileen’s day-to-day worries while working for her last family. Life is the same in some instances for women of all color and we often forget that in our own daily lives. And some of us forget how good we have it compared to others. This book brings you down off the high cloud some of us lazy ourselves on and holds up a mirror of reality instead.
“We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.” (excerpt from The Help)
I highly recommend this book, to young female teens, to young adults, to older women. Read with your hearts, be grateful that we live in a time where change is much easier than before and be wise enough to realize we are all the same, no matter what beautiful color our skin is blessed with.