Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 in Books, Exercise in Frustration, Film, Movie reviews, Ouch!, Personal | 23 comments

Thehelp_film_081011-thumb-640xauto-3847 Oh, my.

I loved the book The Help, not because it was the best-written novel I've ever read, but because I can identify with the story in part, because this is the era in which I grew up.  I thought (romanticized??) that Abileen's and Minny's perspective gave me a glimpse into the other side of the relationship we had with Callie growing up–  

The maid who worked for my grandmother, then after her death, our family, and then eventually for my brother, until Callie's own death.  

We loved her and she sat on the family pew at my and my sister's wedding.

I liked the movie well enough, but I stumbled across a post by Kola Boof that opened my eyes to how black/African women might view the movie.

So I tweeted my musing.

From there, Kola Boof retweeted my link, and a volatile (from her end) conversation ensued (storify.com here.  Originally I embedded the exchange below; I've since decided I'd rather keep the vitriol off my blog….)

There's just too much to try to dissect the whole thing–I was stunned–but mostly it makes me wish I could find my way into a respectful conversation with a group of black women ranging from 45-85.  

And on both sides the adage 

seek to understand before you seek to be understood

marks boundary.

Don't feel sorry for me; I invited the conversation (although without meaning to).  I thought Boof's post, although angry, was challenge to conventional white thinking.  No need to come to my defense in any way, either; I didn't even take what she said personally, I'm just flabbergasted at the lack of civility.  

If any African American women read this post, could you politely share your thoughts good, bad or ugly?