A View from the other side: Daughter of The Help bares her soul

Posted on August 11, 2011


The  daughter of a woman who was The Help opens her soul, and speaks out. If you read one thing on this blog, then you must read this. It has more truth than the whole of Kathryn Stockett’s novel:


Maids and Nannies


Billie Holiday as a maid in the Orson Welles backed film, New Orleans

For Love of Ivy, story originally written by and starring Sydney Poitier. With Abby Lincoln as Ivy, the maid.

For Love of Ivy Movie Poster

 Synopsis of the film 

“A white family has had the same black maid for many years. When she tells them she wants to go back to school and will be leaving soon, the 20ish year old son decides what she needs is a change and begins searching for a man to wine her, dine her, but who won’t marry her thinking that this will turn her aside from her plans. The man he finds doesn’t entirely cooperate.”

 Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>


For Love of Ivy - Poitier's original screenplay on a maid who finds love with a con artist

“According to the Goudsouzian bio, almost 300 women auditioned for the role of Ivy. Jazz singer Abbey Lincoln ultimately walked away the victor: her only previous screen acting work was Nothing But a Man (1964), a film in which Poitier turned down the lead role. Once married to legendary drummer Max Roach, music was and is Lincoln’s first love; her impressive career work has garnered numerous comparisons to Billie Holliday. In a 1996 interview, Lincoln briefly addressed her screen work (which also included Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues [1990]) stating, “I was surprised when I was chosen to do the films I made because I never thought of myself as an actress. I enjoyed some things from that place.” She made it clear, however, that acting was ultimately a dissatisfying experience for her, adding, “There isn’t anything for a black woman on that [Hollywood’s] stage. It would have to be a really fantastic part for me to even consider doing movies again. And I don’t expect to see one…so I don’t care if I ever make another movie. I really don’t want to be bothered.” Lincoln may not have been impressed with Tinseltown, but the feeling wasn’t mutual: she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in For Love of Ivy.”
A review by hooper-xxx
“Most of the other reviews of this film paint it as whimsical and charming family fare. I didn’t see it that way at all. Almost from the opening scene, I was fighting the urge to turn it off. Had it not been a Sidney Poitier, I’d have done just that. The paternalistic attitude of the Lincoln family, especially Abbey Lincoln, is what galls me the most. Even when Ivy tells them what she wants to do, they seem incapable of comprehending that her pursuit of happiness doesn’t involve scrubbing their floors for the rest of her life. The preposterous scheme that Tim Lincoln hatches in order to keep her busting up chifferobes down on the Lincoln Plantation for the rest of her life is not merely imbecilic. It’s down right malevolent. It brings to mind Matthew McConaughey’s closing statements in the movie, “A Time to Kill.” Think of what these cretins are really trying to do to Ivy. Consider that they would deny her everything that they themselves cherish. Now, imagine that she’s white.”
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