How to counter The Help

Posted on August 12, 2011


Take one child, inculcate a love of literature by having her/him read a variety of genres. Take time out of your day to give an oral history of your family, your culture, and your life experiences.

Encourage questions. Engage in debates. But never try to silence their voice, as was done during segregation.

When they watch television, watch with them. Especially have them sit and watch the news with you, and discuss what you’ve just seen.

When they laugh at how silly a plot twist turns out to be, find out if they understand why. If they’re excited about something they’ve read or seen, don’t dim their glow by dismissing it, but eagerly join in.

Point out whether there’s enough diversity on TV, and what does having someone who looks like them mean.

You are their first teacher.

By avoiding talking about unpleasant issues, they will do the same.

In order for your child to face trials head on, you must show them how. And above all, find a way to have them speak their mind on what they’ve read or heard each day.

Thank you mother and dad.

You made me love PBS Masterpiece theater and writer Donald Goines, to dance and sing to West Side Story and have a crush on James Edwards, because as you said, he should have been as big as Sydney Poitier.

James Edwards. Fine, fierce, and a fascinating study in coiled emotional intensity in a performer

And when I when wondered what I could do to counter The Help, I knew right away what had to be done.

You counter it with the truth.

With imagination.

And the belief that where there’s a will, there’s a way.


“Though I’ve seen all of these, the one other role that is almost as memorable as Home of the Brave, was director Mark Robson’s Bright Victory(1951). Once again, Edwards, as he did in The Set-Up with Robert Ryan, supports a fine actor, Arthur Kennedy in one of that man’s best roles of career. Playing a black man who has been blinded, he and Kennedy meet in the Army hospital for blinded servicemen where they are being trained to adapt to their war injury. Kennedy ‘s character, a Southern native, not realizing that his new buddy is an African American, casually uses the N word in his presence. When the camera focuses on Edwards silently stricken face as he hears this word the actor underplays a mixture of his pain, disappointment, inner fury and acceptance of the reality of the insult without overt histrionics. I realize that this film is justifiably celebrated for Kennedy‘s great performance, but for me, it is worth seeing as well for the level of James Edwards‘ acting.”

Read more about this unsung but brilliant actor here:

I started this blog a on June 16, 2010. On that day, I had one visitor. Yesterday I had just shy of 13,000.

I couldn’t have done it without you readers, you lurkers, and you, the ones who wanted to argue and the ones who just wanted to make peace.

THANK YOU, one and all

Next up: What I learned from Kathryn Stockett’s mistakes

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