New Movie, “The Help” Explores Race & Class in Mississippi

Emma Stone and Viola Davis in “The Help”

Film Examines the Intricate Relationship Between Black Maids and the White Famillies They Serve in 1960s Mississippi

Starring as Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, Emma Stone plays the enlightened college girl who comes back to her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi and sees old, dark traditions in a whole new light. As a new columnist for her local paper, she works to take up the cause of the horribly discriminated against black household maids, the women who helped raise her and deserve far better than that which her friends that stayed at home are subjecting them to.

Fearful of retribution, it takes an act of God and a lot of persistence to get her maid Aibileen (Viola Davis) and then Aibileen’s friend Minny (Octavia Spencer) to cooperate. What comes out of it, though, is a truly groundbreaking movement.

Watching the trailer left me wanting to know exactly how they aimed to reach their goal of interviewing the maids. This is a film that may be modern day version of “Driving Miss Daisy.” The movie, based on a book by white author Kathryn Stockett, was a New York Times Bestseller. I’m a little bit of a skeptic about these kind of films…but I think I’ll give this one a shot. Seems like it just may surprise me.

What do y’all think? Will you go see this film? Do you think it will give an accurate depiction of race relations in Mississippi?

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