Economic inequality, legal discrimination, and racism were common in South America during the 1960s when The Help was made. In the South, about 90% of working Africans worked as servants in white farms and homes (Smethurst 69). Systemic racism forced blacks to work in backbreaking, low-paying positions where their employers often abused them. However, it was during this period that black people in the South began to demand complete equality. Boycotters, protesters, Freedom Riders, and marchers continued their fight for liberty but were met with violent white opposition. As Gates and Evelyn (751) point out, bombings, shootings, and protests became more common as tens of thousands of civil rights activists demonstrated throughout the South. There is no doubt that most blacks struggled during this period.
Based on the famous novel by Kathryn Stockett, The Help is a movie regarding race and interactions in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. Regrettably, the movie falls short of a dependable and precise representation, as the reality if the circumstance is not undertaken with seriousness. Among the most apparent parody in this film is the lack of any reference to the mass struggles and their influences in the South during that time (Smethurst 84). The murder of the prominent leader of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Medgar Evers in 1963 by a white supremacist, was one of the significant events in the movie; however, it is given short shrift by the movie directors. In fact, the filmmakers put much focus on Hilly and her band of extremists. Such event required much consideration because Medgar played a significant role in organizing protests and demonstrations with an aim to end discrimination. The assassination gave NAACP national recognition, perhaps contributing to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 (Gates and Evelyn 751).
The Help is primarily entertainment as it does not describe the exact historical events in the early 1960s. The film’s candy-coated camerawork and obsolete super-skinny Southern belles are some of the key features that attract the attention of the viewer. Even though the characters speak of the risks they are taking, the physical threats that faced civil rights activists are not showed. The film obscures historical white racism through the lack of white men and the guiltlessness of white women. In essence, the issues that encountered African-American women were not real house servants and meant girls manners but it was discrimination, lynching, and rape.
The Help is instrumental in shaping the modern social culture by motivating and inspiring the viewers in many ways. Depicted as loyal, neutral and contended custodians of whites, the misrepresentation of characters enabled mainstream American to overlook the general racism that bound black women to low-rated jobs where employers frequently oppressed them. The film implies a contemporary reminiscence of the era when a black woman could only anticipate to work in the White House instead of living in it. In general, the movie is significant for every person but particularly those people who have in some way been barred from participating in all the opportunities that the United States has to offer.
Work Cited
Gates, Henry Louis, and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. African American Lives. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.
Smethurst, James E. The African American Roots of Modernism: From Reconstruction to the Harlem Renaissance. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011. Print

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