Lately the women I respect in my life, my mother, my grandmother, etc., have been telling me I should read The Help. Put down all those long science-fiction and fantasy novels, they say, and get some “real world.” Read The Help. It is such a great book! And I say I will but that I have a fairly long list of books in my Kindle waiting to be read, so I’ll get to it eventually. But, really, I probably won’t.
Because, here’s the thing, I find the whole idea of The Help a little terrible and, well, racist. And since nobody wants to hear me say or explain my feelings in a short phone call or a Skype conversation, I figured I’d put them all out on my blog, so any and all awkward conversations could be avoided in the future.
I currently work for a prominent African American artist who grew up in Greensboro during the 1960s. She lived in the projects and witnessed the KKK murder several people at a civil rights rally right outside of her house. Her mother was a maid. When I mentioned to her that my mother told me that I should read The Help and if she had read it, she looked at my like I was crazy and said: “I don’t want to read that shit.”
I don’t want to read that shit. That statement got me thinking.