Things That Should Not Be (in The Help)

There were quite a few passages in The Help that not only made me cringe, but made me angry.

When Kathryn Stockett describes the African American characters, whether through the eyes of the sympathetic Skeeter, or the maids Aibileen and Minny, their observations are  at times offensive, while just as many of their comments are at times just plain stupid. I also noted a few time line alterations and an apparent error one character states when talking about Medgar Evers. I’m checking to see if it was corrected in the paperback copy. Hopefully it was.

Here’s my list, with excerpts and the pages where they can be found: 

They are scared, looking at the back door every ten minutes, afraid they’ll get caught talking to  me. Afraid they’ll be beaten like Louvenia’s grandson, or, hell, bludgeoned in their front yard like Medgar Evers. (Pg 277) – Skeeter

Medgar Evers was shot in the back.  Two characters, including Minny note this:

“KKK shot him. Front a his house. A hour ago.” (Pg 194) – Minny

Unless there was an earlier incident that didn’t get recorded, Skeeter’s statement is wrong and is a mis-print (nobody caught it, unless the spin will be that the character of Skeeter really had no idea how Medgar Evers died. Unfortunately, Kathryn Stockett has two  three audio interviews where she also states Medgar Evers was bludgeoned to death. You can hear the interviews here and here and here, because there are now THREE of them on the internet. And there’s no telling if there’s more. Excerpts of her reciting Evers “bludgeoning” can be found on this post, with the same links and a short video of Evers.

Pascagoula is described as tiny as a child, not five feet tall, and black as night (Pg 59) – Skeeter

That night after supper, me and that cockroach stare each other down across the kitchen floor. He big, inch, inch an a half. He black. Blacker than me. Aibileen’s  battle of wills with a cockroach (Pg 189)

Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums (Pg 65) – Skeeter

The foreman drags a red cloth across his black forehead, his lips, his neck.  (Pg 239) Skeeter

While visiting Constantine, this character talks about playing with two little girls  who were “so black I couldn’t tell them apart and called them both just Mary.” (Pg 62) – Skeeter

The women are tall, short, black like asphalt or caramel brown. If your skin is too white, I’m told,  you’ll never get hired The blacker the better. – (Pg 257) Skeeter

I clear my throat, produce a nervous smile. Minny doesn’t smile back. She is fat and short and strong. Her skin is blacker than Aibileen’s by ten shades, and shiny and taut, like a pair of new patent shoes. –  Skeeter’s first impression of Minny (Pg 164)

It’s important to note that Stockett has gone on record stating the real life maid of her grandparents inspired not just Aibileen, but most of the maids in the novel. Below is an actual photo of Demterie. Now, read what the author says about her:

“Demetrie was stout and dark-skinned and, by then married to a mean, abusive drinker named Clyde. She wouldn’t answer me when I asked about him. But besides the subject of Clyde, she’s talk to us all day.” (pg 447,  Too Little, Too Late Kathryn Stockett in her own words)

Photo of Demetrie, Stockett’s grandparents maid. Funny, but she doesn’t appear to be “dark”


Demetrie’s not “dark skinned”. And I don’t have a photo of Ablene Cooper, the woman who’s filed suit against Stockett for mis-appropriating her image. But it’s been confirmed that she has a gold tooth, like Aibileen. And Demetrie certainly has more than a “friendly softness” in the middle.







Updated to add a picture of Ablene Cooper, the real life inspiration in my opinion, of the character of Aibileen from the novel:

Ablene Cooper's photo from the UK Daily Mail

Ablene Cooper’s photo from the UK Daily Mail. This is the “real deal” Abilene



It’s important that readers understand that the description Stockett gives of all the maids borders on offensive. Someone being dark brown is not “blacker by ten shades” or “black like asphalt” or the other useless and frankly made up drivel Stockett wrote.

Unfortunately, instead of vetting the author, the book was published with an overwhelming amount of “sayings” about African Americans that had no place in the book, or coming out of the black characters mouths and the heroine Skeeter’s negatively skewed thought process.



This is what may have been Stockett’s inspiration her limited view of the skin tones of the black characters:

Mammy lamp. Note the Black coloring. Image from Ferris State Museum of Jim Crow Memorabilia




Which resulted in this scene not only in the book, but in the movie:

All the “blacker the better” maids in one room, as the film attempts to duplicate Stockett’s words with heavy handed film shots





Now,  the woman below is named Lillian Rodgers Parks. She worked as a seamstress and a maid for the the White House from 1929 until 1960.


Lillian Rodgers Parks, seamstress and maid for the white house.


Lillian Rodgers Parks worked as a maid and seamtress at the white house from 1929 – 1960



It didn’t matter during segregation how light (or dark) an African American was. If you were identified as a “Colored” or a “Negro” then you were relegated to domestic positions, even if you had a college degree. Those who refused to follow a caste systems based on race were called “uppity” and usually left the south because the word was the North provided better opportunities.





Aibileen’s face is turning darker. She giggles again into her knuckles. Clearly she’s not getting this. Skeeter (PG 386)

Okay, many writers will say “a dark expression came over his/her face” but this is really getting ridiculous. If Aibileen is blushing then that could have sufficed.

“What you noticed first about Constantine, besides her tallness were her eyes. They were light brown, strikingly honey-colored against her dark skin. I’ve never seen light eyes on a colored person. In fact, the shades of brown on Constantine were endless. Her elbows were black, with a dry white dust on them in the winter. The skin on her arms and neck and face was a dark ebony. The palms of her hands were orange-tan and that made me wonder if the soles of her feet were too, but I never saw her barefooted.” (Pg 65) – Skeeter

Since when is brown the new black? If the shades of brown were endless, then brown would be tan, beige, taupe…not ebony and not black

So I get it, because its been beaten to the ground in The Help. The black characters appear to be actually “black” in color to the author. Oh, and the majority of them are large. Sort of like:

Figurines, like black lawn jockies and hefty maids were popular accessories during segregation




Comments that are just plain stupid:

When Skeeter is mocked about her height, Constantine tries to comfort her:

“How tall is you?” Constantine responds.

“Five-eleven.” Skeeter bemoans. “I’m already taller than the boys’ basketball coach.”

“Well, I’m five-thirteen, so quit feeling sorry for yourself.” (Pg 63) Skeeter and Constantine

I think about how surprised Constantine must’ve been to hold a white baby and know it was hers – Skeeter (Pg 358)

Uh What? When I read this line I thought it was a joke.

“An orphanage? You mean…she gave her baby away?” As much as Constantine loved me, I can only imagine how much she must’ve loved her own child. Skeeter (Pg 358)

Another What?

After a tender moment between Aibileen and Minny (where Aibileen tells Minny’s she’s a beautiful person) the author describes Minny’s reaction: She roll her eyes and stick her tongue out like I handed her a plate a dog biscuits. (Pg 430)

Minny’s husband comments on her pregnancy (this zinger comes after having five other children) “You don’t get tired. Not till the tenth month.” Leroy (Pg 406 )

“Martin Luther King dear. He just announced a march on D.C. and invited every Negro in America to join him. Every white person, for that matter. This many Negro and white people haven’t worked together since Gone With the Wind.” (Pg 159) – Elaine Stein, Skeeter’s editor for her book on the Help.

And Miss Leefolt come home with her hair all teased up. She got a permanent and she smell like pneumonia (Pg 94 ) – Aibileen

“Just pour some pneumonia in that garbage”…I jot it down, amending it to ammonia (Pg 84) – Skeeter correcting what Aibileen has told her 


Naked pervert throws a brick through Miss Celia’s window. Celia has already called the police;

 Lord, I know what I have to do. I have to go out there. I have to get him first (Pg 306). Minny

“You stand back, Miss Celia.” I say and my voice is shaking. I go get Mister Johnny’s hunting knife, still in the shealth, from the bear. But the blade’s so short, he’ll have to be awful close for me to cut him, so I get the broom too. (Pg 306)- Minny

Why does Minny feel she has to get him first? Why accost him at all, since HE’S STILL OUTSIDE at this point. Here the author flirts with two well known stereotypes about African Americans that were rampant during segregation. That blacks had a propensity towards violence (note that Minny, not Celia is the first to confront) and that blacks favored the use of a knife.

So what happens to Minny, the same woman Aibileen stated could pick up a bus? Because of her size she runs out of breath while on the attack, looses the knife, and is bashed in the head by the pervert. Nothing  to worry about though. Miss Celia comes to her rescue.


She’s got no goo on her face, her hair’s not sprayed, her nightgown’s like an old prairie dress. She takes a deep breath through her nose and I see it.


I see the white-trash girl she was ten years ago. She was strong. She didn’t take no shit from nobody. (Pg 309) Minny looking at Celia who’s just saved her from the naked pervert.


Now, how is that possible? Is  being white-trash a physical transformation, can one switch it off and on? THIS is offensive. And perhaps Stockett didn’t realize, in an interview with the UK site telegraph, she mentioned that Celia was a red-neck. Being white trash and being a red neck are two different labels.

Here’s her quote:

‘I had a lot of fun writing Miss Celia,’ Stockett says. ‘I wanted to create a character who’s so poor that they’re beyond prejudice. But in terms of dialogue? Hers was the hardest to capture. When you really get down into deep, thick redneck accents, you kinda have to take out all your teeth before you can really pull it off. But I do love those accents,’ she sighs.



How his foot fell asleep and he say it tickle. I told him that was just his foot snoring. And how I told him don’t drink coffee or he gone turn colored. He say he still ain’t drunk a cup of coffee and he twenty-one years  old. It’s always nice to see the kids grown up fine. (Pg 91) Aibileen

“I was in attic, looking down at the farm,” I tell her. “I could see the tops of the trees.”

“You gone be a brain surgeon! Top a the house mean the head.” (Pg 63) – Constantine’s reply to Skeeter

“Cat got on the porch this morning, bout gave me a cadillac arrest thinking it was Mister Johnny.” Minny (Pg 48)

“You gone accuse me of a philosophizing.”

“Go ahead,” I say. “I ain’t afraid of no philosophy.” (Pg 311, Minny and Aibileen discuss Celia not seeing the “lines” between black and white)

Aibileen can say “philosophy” “congealed salad” “parliamentary” “conjugation””motorized rotunda” and “domesticized feline” yet can’t stop using “pneumonia” for “ammonia”. Yeah righhhhtttt.


Skeeter trying to get Aibileen to help her with the book “Help”

I just stare at her . Is she crazy? “Did you hear about the colored boy this morning? One they beat with a tire iron for accidently using the white bathroom?

And here’s how Skeeter answers “I know things are unstable but this is-” (Pg 103) – Skeeter talking to Aibileen


Are memories raced based? Because this is what a character says:

I am in the old Jackson kitchen with the maids, hot and sticky in their white uniforms. I feel the gentle bodies of white babies breathing against me. I feel what Constantine felt when Mother brought me home from the hospital and handed me over to her. I let their colored memories draw me out of my own miserable life (Pg 276) – Skeeter



The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

Over 100 years old and still going strong (at cleaning):

Faye Belle, palsied and gray skinned, cannot remember her own age. . . She remembers hiding in a steamer trunk with a little white girl while Yankee soldiers stomped through the house (Pg 257) Skeeter

Yankees? As in the Civil War? What has this turned into, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman?

And then it goes on to say when she’s feeling strong, Faye Belle sometimes goes over to the home of the grandson of  her now deceased employer (who was the  little girl hiding in the trunk from the Yankees with her) and cleans up his kitchen.

How is that even remotely possible, when the woman would have had to be over 100 years of age? How did an editor not catch this?

Ironically, Cicely Tyson has been cast as Constantine and also starred in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman 



Body types of the many of the African American characters-

Constantine wasn’t just tall, she was stout, she was also wide in the hips and her knees gave her trouble all the time  (Pg 61)- Skeeter

I sit across from Callie…she is wide and heavy and parts of her hang over the chair (Pg 259) – Skeeter

 Aibileen smiles, nods. Bertina waddles off to her pew (Pg 127) – Minny

As usual, she looks plump (Aibileen)  and respectible (Pg 126) – Minny

Minny short and big, got shiny black curls. She setting with her legs splayed. her thick arms crossedMinny could probably lift this bus up over her head if she wanted to.  (Pg 13)- Aibileen


Odds against this happening:

Aibileen explaining how Constantine (whose father was white, yet she came out ebony) had a child by a black man (described as dark) and her child came out so light she could pass for white:

“We was all surprised Constantine would go and… get herself in a family way. Some folks at church wasn’t so kind about it, especially when the baby come out white. Even though the father was black as me.” Pg 358

“Constantine’s man Connor, he was colored. But since Constantine had her daddy’s blood in her, baby came out high yellow. It…happens.” (pg 86)
– Aibileen

High yellow and light enough to pass for white are two different skin tones.

Examples of African Americans who can pass for white:    



Jessica Szohr of Gossip Girl


Actress Fredi Washington




Jennifer Beals, African American Actress











Wentworth Miller from Resident Evil: Afterlife




Calling someone “high yellow” was and still is an offensive term (as in fighting words). I won’t post any examples.




I get excited about my food:

“A course. Can’t have no proper sandwich on no raw bread. And this afternoon I’ll make one a Minny’s famous caramel cakes. And next week we gone do you a fried catfish…” Minny speaking to Mr. Johnny (Pg  140)

Besides her furiousness at white people, Minny likes to talk about food. “Let’s see,  I put the green beans in first, then I go on and get the pork chops going cause , mmm-mmm, I like my chops hot out the pan, you know.” (Pg 166)

I couldn’t help but think of the scene from the comedy Tropic Thunder after re-reading this part. Robert Downey Jr (who was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar by the way, for his role as an Australian actor turned African American soldier) gets so into his role as Lincoln Osirus that he looks at the foliage near Cambodia and talks about frying up some collard greens, etc.


All I’ve ever wanted to be was a maid:

“Did you…ever have dreams of being something else?”

“No,” she says. “No ma’m I didn’t.”    Aibileen’s reply to Skeeter (Pg 144)


How the  African American male is viewed:

Clyde Clark – Aibileen’s husband, has runoff with another woman in the novel. Aibileen’s description of him: We start calling his daddy Crisco cause you can’t fancy up a man done run off on his family. Plus he the greatest no-count you ever known.  (Pg 5)

Minny’s father, no first name given.  Minny describes him like this: my no-good drunk daddy (Pg 38)

Leroy Jackson- Minny’s husband. Aibileen first makes reference of how most view Leroy.  So when she call, Leroy gone give her Miss Walter number cause he a fool (Pg 26). Leroy’s the main black male protag and he’s drunk most of the time as well as abusive to his wife (and his children). No redeeming qualities, no reason given why Minny has married him and has five children with him and a sixth on the way. His reason for hitting Minny?  Well he gives his answer on page 413:

“Why? Why are you hitting me?”

He leaned down and looked me right in the face

“If I didn’t hit you Minny, who knows what you become.” Leroy’s answer to Minny’s question (Pg 413)

Robert – Louvenia’s grandson. Was a friend of Aibileen’s deceased son. A younger male, makes the mistake of using a whites only bathroom  (did not see a sign designating it as such) is beaten so badly he’s now blind. Is the only African American character, male or female, described as attractive in the novel. Aibileen calls him a handsome “boy”.

Maybe Stockett was unaware, but calling a black male a “boy” is offensive. Robert is supposed to be as old as Treelore. Since Treelore was 24 when he died, Robert would have been at least 26 during this exchange. Even though Stockett has a black character do it, most African Americans are aware of the designations of “Auntie” and “Uncle” and “boy,” which were used to avoid giving a racial group thought unequal the respectful titles of  Mr. or Mrs. or Miss.


How the white male is viewed:

Even though segregation benefited both the white male and white female, its the white males who appear more tolerant in The Help.

Carlton Phelan- Skeeter’s father. A hard worker, quiet, loving, does not appear to agree with his wife’s views on segregation. I’ve dubbed him Atticus Finch Lite (Atticus Finch was the staunch liberal and heroic dad/attorney in Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird).  “I’ve got twenty-five Negroes working my fields and if anyone so much as laid a hand on them, or any of their families…” Daddy’s gaze is steady. Then he drops his eyes. “I’m ashamed sometimes, Senator. Ashamed of what goes on in Mississippi.”(Pg 268)

Stuart Whitworth – conflicted, still nursing a broken heart from a previous love. After a disastrous  first date with Skeeter, comes back three months later to apologize. They resume dating and eventually fall in love. Skeeter keeps secret her involvment in the manuscript of the maid’s stories, When Stuart does find out, he immediately takes back his engagement ring.

Johnny Foote – Celia’s husband. Patient, loving, has no problem with Minny as the maid. Only wants to see his wife happy, though she embarasses him with her style of dress and inability to hold her liquor. Johnny was Hilly’s great love, and she resents Celia for marrying him.

Raleigh Leefolt – Elizabeth’s husband and Aibileen’s employer. Generally civil to Aibileen, though he warns he not to get involved with Skeeter. “I don’t want you talking to that woman anymore, not for cleaning tips. not to say hello, you hear?…I hear about you two talking and you’ll be in a heap of trouble. You understand?” (Pg 291-292)

State Senator “Stooley” Whitworth- Stuart’s father. Both Mr. Phelan and Senator Whitworth are written as “nice” segregationists, if there ever was such a thing.  He’s also another character who can’t hold his liquor, but unlike Leroy, Minny’s husband, he’s harmless. On Page 268, he seems ready to reveal his true feelings about the Governor and segregation in general, which may be liberal.

Carlton Phelan Jr. – Skeeter’s brother. He’s studying to be a lawyer, seems to be a loving son and is described as tall and handsome.

So Stockett has made most of the African American males into unlikeable characters, while the men who practiced segregation come off quite likeable, with only minor faults. They’re  portrayed as moral, upstanding citizens, faithful and respectful to their wives. Save for Hilly’s diva like actions  and the black males mistreating their women throughout the novel, life in Jackson Mississippi would be almost bearable for African American females. However, note how this “utopia” Stockett has created is even challenged by one of her own characters;

“What’s gone happen if…this thing gets printed and people find out who were are? shy Winnie asks. “What you think they do to us?”

“We won’t know till the time comes, Winnie.” Aibileen says softly. “A white lady do things different than a white man”

“Naw.” Winnie shakes her head. “I reckon not. Fact, a white lady might do worse.” (Pg 256)


Was this even necessary?

“You see that?” Farina said to me. “That pink lady you work for, drunk as an Injun on payday.” (Pg 333)


Just plain wrong and disgusting, and no payback for the horrors of segregation:

The Terrible Awful thing – Minny’s pie laced with her own feces.  It’s a chocolate custard pie.

“Then I go home. I mix up that chocolate custard pie. I puts sugar in it and Baker’s chocolate and the real vanilla my cousin bring me from Mexico.”

“Miss Hilly say, Mama can have some if she wants. Just a little piece though. What did you put in here, Minny, that makes it taste so good?”

“I say ‘ That good vanilla from Mexico’  and then I go head. I tell her what else I put in that pie for her.” Minny revealing the Terrible Awful secret to Miss Celia (Pg 339)

To be continued…

7 Responses “Things That Should Not Be (in The Help)” →
  1. I read the book. I enjoyed it. I appreciate your commentary. I do agree with many things that you highlighted, I do disagree with some things.

    I am an AA woman. While, I definitely don’t think that bad grammar and mispronunciations are indicative of black people, I didn’t find the author’s use in any way gratuitous. Especially when you look at the fact that during that time, many black people hadn’t made it through grade school and the education that they received was substandard.

    When asked to point out the men that were at knocked on his door and took his nephew Emmett Till, Moses Wright, pointed and said, “Thar he.”

    Aside – Moses was a very brave man!

    I am not surprised that Minny would go fight for Celia. No “nice white woman” would ever know how to fight. Minnie was a fighter and probably felt the need to protect Celia. Poor little emotionally fragile Celia.

    I can’t wait to read more.

    • Hello Mick,

      Thanks for your comment. I’d like to add a few of my own points.

      First, it’s important to remember that Minny’s an abused woman. Unfortunately, because she’s also portrayed as the bossy maid, this stereotype seems to have overrided what we now know about battered women.

      Most women who’ve been abused are under the control of another. In Minny’s case, its Leroy. Somehow this character becomes more aggressive as the novel goes on, and rarely experiences the depression, isolation, and outright fear that other women do who are in a relationship where an intimate partner is violent.
      I have a hard time believing this character would go into protect mode, especially when she’s unable to summon it for not only for herself, but for her kids.
      You see, her kids are also victims, since they witness Leroy’s abuse.

      By created Minny with a “bossy” maid persona, the abuse issue has been pushed to the side, and all modern data on it overlooked. This is a major blunder in my opinion.

      An addtional point:
      On education and African Americans. The south has been the home of a fair number of colleges and universities founded for African Americans since the Civil War, many of which still stand.

      During the 50s and 60s, and even the 70s, African Americans from all over the country sought higher education.

      What was fought for in 1954 was that the schools, including the colleges be integrated. The South was the home of many college graduates of African American heritage, and many of them, from Martin Luther King Jr, to Anne Moody and Hellen Jean O’Neil-McCray graduated from a historically black college.
      The True Song of the South

      It’s important to separate fact from fiction. African Americans, not just those of the South were as diverse in education as they were in employment. Black doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors and others proudly called the south their home. But back during segregation, African Americans were bombarded by images of culture, some of which remain today like Aunt Jemina and Uncle Ben, that either mocked the dialect or the physical form. The creators of these stereotypes were usually white writers. These demeaning characters were not limited to African Americans though. Native Americans as well as Asians had to endure caracatures, which usually shared the similarities of broken english and exaggerated features. Imho The Help merely perpetuates those stereotypes, with the dialect of Aibileen and Minny, as well as other black characters straight out of an episode of Amos and Andy.

      It’s also of interest to note that the author has had misgivings about her portrayals, stating this:
      “I guess when I felt like I was having a conversation with Demetrie, but, Michele, I didn’t get it all right. I took liberties that made me feel like I was telling the story in the way it should be told, but I never considered when I was writing how it was going to make other people feel.”

      And this:

      “At first, I wasn’t nervous writing in the voice of Aibileen and Minny because I didn’t think anybody would ever read the story except me. I wrote it because I wanted to go back to that place with Demetrie. I wanted to hear her voice again.
      But when other people started reading it, I was very worried about what I’d written and the line I’d crossed. And the truth is, I’m still nervous. I’ll never know what it really felt like to be in the shoes of those black women who worked in the white homes of the South during the 1960s and I hope that no one thinks I presume to know that. But I had to try. I wanted the story to be told. I hope I got some of it right.”

      And This:
      WOW: Oh, how interesting. How bold of you to write in the voice of a black woman.
      KATHRYN: Oh, it’s not that bold if you think no one’s going to read it.
      WOW: OK, so you’re writing this privately; you’re feeling this – your story – is only for yourself?
      KATHRYN: Oh, yes.


  2. Although I agree with many of the points concerning things that should not be in THE HELP, I did enjoy the book and felt it had a valuable message. Yet, the inconsistencies are troubling.

    Something I wondered about was Louvinia’s age. She’s a grandmother, yet at one point Aibilene says the woman is ten years younger than herself.

    The inconsistent dialect bothered me. Celia’s lapses are ludicrous and unbelievable.

    Celia’s being from a place called Sugar Ditch is questionable. This name has been a perjorative for a very poor, predominantly African-American neighborhood in Tunica County. It was in the national news in the 1990’s as the poverty and lack of decent housing were exposed. As clueless as Celia was, even she would not have named this home town.

    Although Skeeter is considered a brave heroine for writing her book, her main goal is to establish her own journalism credentials, not to further civil rights. In fact, she seems curiously ignorant of the political climate that existed when she was a college senior and writing for a school publication. I graduated from a Mississippi college three years before the time of the novel, and students there were very aware of the Emmit Till murder and its consequences.

    Skeeter uses the verb form “lay” in several places, when “lie” is the correct usage. A person trained in writing would not do this.

    Let’s look forward to Stockett’s next novel and hope she keeps her passion and proofreads more.

  3. i disagreed with many of your points. i quite enjoyed this book and I’m sorry that you were too shallow to find every little thing that is supposedly ‘wrong’ with this book rather than enjoy it and find the deeper meaning that is hidden.

    • Hello Sophia,

      Lots of people also enjoyed Amos ‘N Andy back in the day. That didn’t mean the stereotypes being used to mock African Americans were accurate or even necessary. And you may want to look up the definition of “shallow.” You’ve given a rebuttal of less than a paragraph. I’ve got a whole site with links, newspaper scans and even published interviews where the author contradicts her own premise. Also, I recall segregation. The book did what it was intended to do. Whitewash segregation using age old stereotypes like the docile, loyal Mammy (Aibileen) and the sassy, loud mouth Mammy (Minny). Throw in Skeeter, as the benevolent segregationist with liberal tendencies (yet she couldn’t state whether she thought blacks and whites were equal) and there’s your “deeper” meaning. This was simply revisionist history and the means for a group of friends to gain a foothold into Hollywood, using tiresome tropes that frankly, many black people are sick of.

  4. Even before I found your site, thanks to a link on one of your Amazon reviews, I found a lot of things in the book that I found hard to believe.
    1. Hilly would make sure Yule May got 4 years for stealing a next to worthless ring and then not have every white man on the block have Minny hanging from a tree within 20 minutes of her finding out what was in that pie.
    2. I’d think there would be at least one “y’all” out of a white person’s mouth in Jackson, MS.
    3. A 24 year old woman who didn’t finish college, with a husband with no real clout, would hold a whole town in her fist.
    4. Only the women were card-carrying members of the White Citizen’s Council in this book (except Skeeter of course).
    5. I had no idea that Medgar Evers was bludgeoned to death! And here for years I thought he was shot in the back in his front yard. (eye roll)
    I wanted to think that Minny and Aibileen were “strong” women, but after reading this site, I had to see your point that they are what they are…Mammies. The book could have been so much more.

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