August 8, 2014
My Personal Reflection on the Day of Traveling with Black Women’s Blueprint to Geneva, Switzerland

My Personal Reflection on the Day of Traveling with Black Women’s Blueprint to Geneva, Switzerland

I left the country for the first time in 1989 on a study abroad program during my sophomore year in college. That journey and my preceding herstory as an incest survivor marked the trajectory of my life. In 1989, I was raped one night and had consensual sex with another man the following night. I returned home pregnant unsure of who the father was and six weeks later had a safe and legal abortion a few days after my twentieth birthday. Three months later, recognizing that I was functionally depressed, Michael Simmons (Dad) took me to Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain to attend an international nuclear disarmament conference. After the conference, I backpacked throughout Spain alone for five weeks. During my journey I met with members of the Basque Separatist Movement, the Women’s League of the Communist Party of Barcelona and Madrid. It was in Granada, Spain at the Alhambra that I wrote in my journal that rather than go in debt over a degree, I would go in debt over a film… Little did I know 

Five years later in 1994, I was the youngest member of the American Friends Service Committee’s delegation to observe the first elections post the end of “legal” apartheid. There was a cosmic symmetry about my journey because it was almost exactly 30-years after Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons (Mom) went to Laurel, Mississippi in 1964 (through 1966) to fight against/defy U.S. Sanctioned Apartheid by working with Local Mississippians and her SNCC comrades to register disenfranchised African-Americans to vote. I traveled through and stayed in South Africa for five weeks. It was there that I received a poster from Black South African Feminist Activists that said “The most violent social settings in South Africa was in the home, the crime battering.” Prior to that moment, I never ever thought about violence perpetuated against women in Black and Coloured South African Communities. We never ever talked about gender violence against Black and Coloured women, in the anti-apartheid activist work that I participated in as both a high school and college student. The only violence we talked about was state sanctioned racialized violence. From my own molestation and rape to Desiree Washington, there were many seeds that were planted but it was in South Africa where the seed that eventually (12-years later) became my film NO! The Rape Documentary was fertilized. Never ever again, would I only think about violence in a racilaized in the absence of gender and sexuality lens. NEVER! 

Since 1994, I’ve been most fortunate to travel extensively in numerous countries throughout Europe, and journey to Kenya, Malaysia, and India. Almost all of those journeys were directly related to my work to address violence perpetuated against women and LGBTQ people.

Twenty-five years after my very first international journey that forever changed my life, things appear to come full circle. I’m humbled and grateful that I was invited to embark on a journey to Geneva, Switzerland on behalf of Black Women’s Blueprint with my sisters/comrades Farah Tanis, Christina Jaus, Ibo Zié La Lune, Nikki Patin Frances Nielah Bradley to testify at the United Nations about the too often unaddressed state sanctioned and intimate violence perpetuated against women and LGBTQ people in Black communities in the United States. This is very personal work and it’s very political work. 

Our individual and collective work (along with the work of so many known and unknown sisters) is often underfunded and under paid, if paid at all. And yet, it is an absolute privilege. I believe those of us who are able have a responsibility and an obligation to do this work, which is part of a continuum of various forms of resistance practiced from Enslavement of African people in the Americas and Caribbean through present day — Free Marissa Now!!!!!

I AM … WE ARE metaphorically standing in the blood and upon the shoulders of straight and queer people who willingly AND unwillingly gave their lives for racial, gender and/or Black queer liberation.

Quoting Co-Founder and Executive Director of Black Women’s Blueprint, Sister Farah Tanis, “It is by telling our own life stories and by writing new narratives toward justice that we practice liberation, heal ourselves and shift the current paradigm—lifting the foot of oppression off of our necks so we can be free.”

I invoke my beloved Sister-Comrade-RADICAL-Pan African-Feminist-Anti Rape Activist-Scholar Dr. Aaronette M. White whose second ancestral anniversary is quickly approaching. She used her activism and scholarship to consistently and tirelessly address all forms of gender violence in various parts of the world – the U.S., Africa, Caribbean, Asia, and Europe. If Aaronette were here in the physical form, I know she would most definitely support our efforts (http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/764463/92351ffc87/ARCHIVE) if not also figure out a way to get on the plane and join us. She is with us in Spirit.

May 12, 2013
Celebrating the Extraordinary Who Are Relegated to Ordinary: A Tribute to Rebecca White Simmons Chapman and Juanita Cranford Robinson Watson

This article, written by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, was originally published on The Feminist Wire.

Nana (Rebecca White Simmons Chapman)
Nana (Rebecca White Simmons Chapman)

Too often, we do not celebrate the extraordinary individuals who, because of their race, gender, and/or socio-economic standing, lived what appeared to be ordinary lives. This year, I am paying homage to my paternal and maternal grandmothers’ lives and legacies. I proudly stand upon the shoulders of my Nanas—Mrs. Rebecca White Simmons Chapman and Mrs. Juanita Cranford Robinson Watson—whose lives were remarkable.

My grandmothers grew up in abject poverty in Rock Hill, South Carolina and Memphis, Tennessee. Nana Chapman was the third of four children born to Jack White, Sr., and Maggie Pagan White. When she left school in the fourth grade to financially support her family by working as a domestic cleaning white people’s homes, she was forced to abandon her dream of becoming a nurse. Alone with limited financial means as a domestic laborer in the 1930s, she moved from South Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when she was 12 years old.  Nana Watson’s formative years were also quite challenging.  She was the 9th child of 10 children born to Mattie Garrett Cranford and Henderson Cranford. She was orphaned early, losing both of her parents as a very young child. Both her paternal grandmother Mrs. Francis Macklin, and paternal aunt, Mrs. Florence Cranford, raised her and her siblings. Nana Watson was an excellent student who completed the 11th grade during the Great Depression.  Never overzealous with their Christian faith, Nanas Chapman and Watson were active and engaged members in their churches—Jones Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church and Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, respectively. Neither woman subscribed to the belief in a vengeful God who would bring His wrath upon those who didn’t follow (human interpretations of) His will. Nana Chapman always taught and believed that “good deeds are their own rewards.”

During World War II, Nana Chapman worked at the Budd Automotive Company, then subsequently began working at Sichek Clothing factory in Philadelphia, where she quickly rose to floor manager. Throughout her tenure at Sichek, she was an active union member and a shop steward.

During that same period, Nana Watson became a pioneer by breaking the virulently racist Jim Crow color line by becoming the first African-American woman to write laundry tickets for Memphis Steam Laundry and Cleaners.  Prior to her, no African-American women worked in this position because it required collecting money from and interacting with white customers during a time when racial segregation was strictly enforced. This type of work was reserved for white women.  African Americans, nevertheless, endured and resisted this U.S.-sanctioned domestic terrorism.

Nana Watson valiantly persevered despite the racism that I can barely imagine, much less stomach, that she endured from most of the white women customers who didn’t want to accept laundry tickets from a “Colored Woman.”  While it was not her intention, she was a trailblazer who broke ground in this field and paved the way for those African-American women who followed her.

With the first African-American President of the United States in his second term, many will probably not view Nana Watson pioneering job as an extraordinary act. However, one need only talk to the surviving elders from her generation and earlier to learn first hand about the horrid impact of the brutal, state and locally inhumane, racist and sexist Jim Crow laws. These were the laws of the Confederate states from 1876 to 1965. Some of the many seminal award-winning works that document a plethora of historical accounts of the era include: Tera Hunter’s To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors after the Civil War, Paula Giddings Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching, Barbara Ransby’s  Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, Danielle Maguire’s At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, Taylor Branch’s Parting the Waters: America in the King Years: 1954-1963, the Hands on the Freedom Plow:Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC anthologyBlackside’s PBS television series Eyes on the Prize, and Duke University’s Beyond the Veil: African-American Life in the Jim Crow South.  These are a few thoroughly documented references that underscore what Nana and all African-Americans experienced daily during Jim Crow reign. Being the first African American in any type of employment that was his/herstorically reserved for white women and men was no small feat.

And yet, there was no fanfare for the pioneering work of Nana Watson and Nana Chapman primarily because we live in a classist society and the work of laborers, most especially Black women laborers is not valued or respected. They, like so many African-American women of their generation, were unsung and very quiet extraordinary sheroes.

Challenging the racial and gender stereotypes of the 1950s and 60s, Nana Chapman demanded that all strata of society respect her and her family. She was committed to supporting African-American health care professionals, attorneys and other business people throughout her life. She was particularly proud that her two sons’ first doctor was an African-American woman.

In 1962, Nana Chapman was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and was given five years to live. She wasn’t daunted by the prognosis. With her faith in God, along with the unlimited emotional, psychic, and financial support of her second husband, Willie L. Chapman, my grandfather, Nana outlived this diagnosis by 39-years. Over a 30-year span, the illness caused her to be hospitalized on average of every 18-months. She was exposed to an inordinate amount of radiation, which made her bones too brittle to be exposed to extended sunlight; and she was often in excruciating pain. In spite of these major impediments, Nana insisted on and lived a normal life.

In the 1970s, Nana Watson and her second husband, Reverend Granville Watson, established their own cleaning business, which provided quality janitorial services for Hobson-Kerns Realty for many years.  After her divorce, Nana continued providing cleaning services for this and other companies for decades until her retirement at the age of 80.

Both Nanas Chapman and Watson were hard workers who held life long desires and quests for knowledge. They were avid readers with homes filled with books, magazines, and newspapers. Neither woman defined herself in terms of education or paid work. Rather, each saw her quality of life determined by what kind of sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend she was to those she loved.

Long before I had ever heard of and encountered my teacher, mentor, and big sister friend Toni Cade Bambara, Nana Chapman was my teacher and mentor. Until I was 21-years in this journey called life, there was hardly anything that I could not share with her. With the exception of one big secret, I talked to her about almost everything –religion and spirituality, reproductive freedom, politics, my lesbian sexuality, education, and friendships with my peers. Her home was my second home. During my turbulent pre-teen and teenage years, Nana and I would talk on the phone almost daily for hours at a time. She was my “Nana Banana” and I was her “Apple Pie.” I never felt like she didn’t have time for my issues, concerns, thoughts, ideas, and/or fears. For many years she was literally my emotional and psychic lifeline. She never used the words “Black feminist” to describe herself, but she played a major role in teaching me Black feminist principles. She always made it explicitly clear that there were no limits to any goals that a woman sought to achieve.  She would always tell me, “There’s no such thing as ‘can’t,’ Pie.” These conversations played a pivotal role on my current quest to write about and document the struggles of African-American women and other women of color.  With a fourth grade education and a PhD. in life experience, she was my intellectual adviser, my trusted confidante, sought after consultant, and my friend.

Aishah & Nana (Juanita Cranford Robinson Watson)
Aishah & Nana (Juanita Cranford Robinson Watson)

I will not be a revisionist and say that Nana Watson and I were extremely close because we were not. There was deep love and affection shared between us. However, very unfortunately, with the exception of one-year when she came to live with my mother (Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons) and I during my adolescence, we never lived geographically close to each other. Over the years our relationship was really relegated to phone calls and brief visits over holidays or during birthdays. And yet, she always traveled to Philadelphia to attend major milestone events in the lives of her daughter and granddaughter. While she didn’t think that rape was something to be discussed in public or even private, Nana made several financial contributions, which supported the making of my film NO! The Rape Documentary.

Nana had a will power that would not be denied. When she set her mind on something, there really wasn’t anything that you could do to change it. Even if she changed her mind, it was not because someone forced her to do so. As her health declined over the years, she was not aware that she could no longer fully take care of herself.  In her mind’s eye, she was still the same Mrs. Juanita Watson she had always been, just slightly older. I write this because it is difficult to come to grips with the fact that someone who has taken care of you is in need of care. It is often hard to face the sobering aging process. Additionally, it is very challenging to do this work when our aging loved ones don’t believe they are in need of care.

Both of my grandmothers died in the Chinese Astrology year of the snake in 2001 and 2013, respectively. I am moved that they died within a 12-year cycle.  I don’t know what the timing all means. I know that being with both of them in their deaths transformed me as much as knowing them when they were physically alive.

I was alone with Nana Chapman during the last three days of her life in 2001. She beat cancer, but not Alzheimer’s  disease. I rubbed her body, combed her hair, played African-American spirituals and gospel music in rotation, and called upon her ancestors to welcome her. She wasn’t conscious, and yet, she was present. Recognizing that the end of her human form was imminent, I found my voice to share with her the one secret that I kept from her for over 20 years because of spoken loyalty to my parents and unspoken loyalty to my grandfather. I was molested over a period of two years. I don’t know what she absorbed, if anything, during my highly emotional disclosure. What I know is that a shift happened within me, and my incest burden was slightly lighter. I wasn’t with her when she transitioned from this realm to the next.  I left five hours before her last breath. At that time, I didn’t have a full understanding of the process of dying nor did I have a grasp that she was departing. I told myself that I would return to the hospital the next day. Knowing what I know now, I firmly believe that I was afraid to witness her death. I knew she transitioned somewhere between 4:00am - 5:00am on December 22, 2001 because I was awakened by an unexplained loving presence in my bedroom. I knew it was her presence. She was no longer here in the physical form.  When I received the call several hours later, I said to my dad (Michael Simmons), “I know. Nana has passed on.”

Now here I am;

and there I am;

and all I am;

Free to be anywhere at all in the Universe.

~ Toni Cade Bambara, The Salt Eaters

The experience of being so close and yet, missing her transition sent me on a spiritual quest, which ultimately led me to my practice of vipassana meditation –an invaluable and non-negotiable anchor on my life’s journey.

Only one month ago, I arrived in Memphis during the last 26-hours of Nana Watson’s life. During those sacred hours, I came face to face with the fact that I missed so much with my maternal grandmother. Simultaneously, I also realized that it was not a time for guilt, but a time to support and witness the final stages of her transition into the next realm. I was by her side in deep prayer in her religious (Christian) tradition and in deep meditation in my spiritual tradition. Unlike in 2001 when I was with Nana Chapman, I came prepared to be completely present during Nana Watson’s transition. She was no longer conscious, but I felt her presence. I rubbed and massaged her body and called upon her ancestors to welcome her into the next realm. I shared and reflected upon many things that I’m not comfortable sharing in this article. I practiced Mettā meditation. I played what was perhaps a continuous stream of African-American spirituals and gospel. She made her transition at 4:00AM on April 6, 2013. The song that was playing around the time of her transition was Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Come by Here”— arranged by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon. I sat and stood prayerfully and meditatively in silence with Nana Watson’s body while being acutely aware of the universal law of impermanence.

And again, I hear Toni Cade Bambara’s words:

Now here I am;

and there I am;

and all I am;

Free to be anywhere at all in the Universe.

~ The Salt Eaters

About 45-minutes to an hour after her transition, the Hospice nurse, my mother, and I bathed Nana’s body before the undertaker arrived. It was an incredible ritual. During the bathing, I saw an 89-year old version of my own body. I am flesh of her flesh and womb of her womb in this lifetime.

I am grateful that Nana Watson entrusted me with the profound gift to support her crossing over and witness her final hours in the physical form. This gift has left an indelible imprint on me. I am forever changed.

In life and in death, Rebecca White Simmons Chapman and Juanita Cranford Robinson Watson have directly and indirectly impacted my journey called life. I inherited and now walk with their Black feminist warrior legacies

I close with an excerpt of Dr. Delores S. Williams’ timeless words featured in Dr. Gloria Wade-Gayles’ edited anthology My Soul Is a Witness: African-American Women’s Spirituality:

“…Whenever I reflect upon the sources of my spirituality as a Black woman, I think of love, struggle, work, self-sight, justice, and celebration taught to me by so many Black voices, most of them female. For this I continue to be deeply grateful. For this I celebrate the very force of Life itself.”[1]

May Nana Chapman and Nana Watson be peaceful, happy, and fully liberated.

Sadhu. Asé. A(wo)men. Ameen.


[1] Delores S. Williams’ “Sources of Black Female Spirituality: The Ways of ‘the Old Folks’ and ‘Women Writers,’” in My Soul Is a Witness: African-American Women’s Spirituality, ed. Gloria Wade-Gayles, p. 191

 

August 19, 2011
I’m ‘Help(ed)’ Out And Yet, I Still Have Some Things To Say!

By Aishah Shahidah Simmons

There have been numerous primarily Black feminist critiques of both the book and the film ‘The Help’. Most of the critiques deeply resonate with my feelings about both entities. Since it’s official release on August 10, 2011, I’ve dedicated probably too much time to reading and reposting many of the critiques by both Black and White women. While I’ve shared some of my concerns with some, I haven’t compiled all of them into one note up until now…

I didn’t like the book ‘The Help’ at all, but I believe it is ten times better than the film. If there were a plethora of films about the complexities of Black life, I wouldn’t care at all about the film ‘The Help’. However, since there aren’t that many films out there, combined with the fact that this film will be seen globally and probably go down in cinematic history as a classic, I’m personally very, very clear about my sheer disgust about it.

I saw the movie at a sneak promotional viewing and I was horrified. Now, I thought Viola Davis’ acting was phenomenal and  Octavia Spencer’s was superb. They both did incredible work with the roles that they were given.  In spite of this, I was and am deeply disturbed by the film’s subtle and not-so subtle racism. Yes, I know the film takes place in 1962  Mississippi, and one could argue that the film was depicting the time. While some of that is true, what’s also true is that, in my opinion, the film is racist, sexist and ahistorical.

I’m the great granddaughter, great-niece, and granddaughter of Black women who worked as domestics for racist and sexist White people both in the Jim Crow South and the (allegedly liberated) North. I am the daughter of a southern Black woman who spent 18-months (1964-1966) in Laurel, Mississippi working for SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). Hardly any of the stories that I heard, first hand throughout my life (and I’m in my 40s) from any of the aforementioned women or their friends, matched the portrayal of the Black women and their communities in the book or the film ‘The Help.’

There are many wonderful books by Black women authors who through fiction and fact poignantly address the realities of Black women domestic workers during the same time period that ‘The Help’ takes place.  Some of those books received critical acclaim.  And yet, those books aren’t turned into films. Several of those books have been listed in previous critiques of ‘The Help' including Jennifer Williams essay and the Association of Black Women Historian’s Open Statement to the Fans of ‘The Help.’

In addition to those books, I reflect upon the very recently released Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women In SNCC, (edited by Faith S. Holsaert, Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, Judy Richardson, Betty Garman Robinson, Jean Smith Young, and Dorothy M. Zellner), which really highlights those unsung, many of whom were not formally educated women who changed the face of Amer-i-KKK-a in the Jim Crow South. I’m not talking about the multiracial SNCC workers themselves (per se); but those Black women (and men) who opened their homes and lives to the SNCC volunteers… Many of who were already doing radical and subversive work in the midst of working for “Miss Ann”… So many of the testimonies captured in this anthology are worthy of film or even their own independent book. In my mind’s eye, Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC tells the stories of ordinary women (and men) doing extraordinary work. 

My deep pain about all of the hoopla and fanfare about ‘The Help’ has to do with the fact that we very rarely EVER see a film where the sheer White male and female supremacist terror that Black people lived under (first during enslavement -which lasted for centuries, then throughout the Jim Crow era) is depicted. From DW Griffiths ‘The Birth Of A Nation,’ til present day, Hollywood has been committed to sanitizing and making light of excruciatingly painful, wretched, and inhumane times for millionS of African-Americans.  This system has been able to do this through castigating, maligning, stereotyping, marginalizing, and dehumanizing people of African descent. There is something very uncanny and disturbing about this, to say the very least.

While some have critiqued Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and other Black actresses featured in ‘The Help,’ I understand that they are caught between a rock and a hard place. It’s hard out here for Black women (and men) actors in the Hollywood (or Hollyweird, as Toni Cade Bambara used to call it) system. When one turns down a role based on their principles and dignity, another one will gladly accept that role. I’m sad that roles in ‘The Help’ are the options for phenomenal actresses like Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.  In many ways, it appears as if this vicious racist and sexist cycle will never ever get broken.

My questions are how do we stop this powerful system - Hollywood, which influences the world, from its ongoing cinematic racist, sexist, heterosexist/homophobic/ transphobic, and classist assaults not only on communities of African descent, but also on Latina/o, Arab, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific, Islander, Roma (Gypsy), and Southwest Asian communities…? When does ENOUGH become ENOUGH?

I’m concerned about the messages that are conveyed through ‘The Help.’ If you aren’t formally educated, you need a White woman to document and tell your story in order for it to get heard… Then the White woman leaves town to make it big in NYC, and you’re safe(?) in 1960s White Supremacist Terrorist Mississippi after getting fired for breaking your silence…? Or, your battered by your Black husband, and the White woman you taught how to cook, stays up all night to prepare the most delicious meal you’ve ever had. You were so moved by that meal, that you leave your abusive husband. 

Foremost, are we really okay with these types of depictions of White women as the sole saviors to Black women’s lives, which are presented as historical fact? Equally as important, is this an accurate HERstory?  And if it is, which I doubt, how often did this happen? Was there real Sisterhood based on equality between Black women domestic workers and their White women employers? How does this story foster sisterhood based on equality between Black and White women contemporarily?

To quote Black feminist political scientist Melissa Harris-Perry’The Help’ reduces systematic, violent racism, sexism & labor exploitation to a cat fight that can be won with cunning spunk.

Again, if there were a plethora of films about the complexities of Black life, then ‘The Help’ would be another film… But, it’s not another film. For many, painfully similar to how the ahistorical film ‘Mississippi Burning’ became the cinematic representation of the disappearance of civil rights workers ~Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney; ‘The Help’ will be the cinematic representation of life for Black women domestic workers and their White women employers in Mississippi in the1960s.

To add insult to injury, the HSN (Home Shopping Network) has launched its on collection, inspired by ‘The Help.’ This is SO egregious and inhumane. In my opinion, it’s another example of how a painful part of African-American her/history (and what should be an embarrassing part of European-American her/history) has been sanitized and commodofied. To quote my Sister, Patricia Lesesne, “What are they {HSN} selling? Bullets, rape kits, nooses, tear-stained blouses, men’s dress shirts with blood spattered on them? Exactly which pieces from this time in US history are going to be sold on the HSN? Are they going to bottle up the essence of fear, terror, and humiliation in 6oz bottles and sell them as a fragrance trio gift set. What the hell is going on?  Yes, Patricia, what the HELL is going on in 2011?

One way we can resist this insanity is by supporting (non-Hollywood supported/funded) Independent Cinema.  There are many, many filmmakers who are creating powerful narrative and documentary films, which depict the complexities of lives of people who, based on their race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, class and/or religion, are too often marginalized or worse, dehumanized by the Hollywood system.

If you see ‘The Help’, be an engaged spectator. It’s important that there is critical engagement and interrogation, even if, sigh and gasp, you LOVE the film. I think it’s important that all movie goers take time to really reflect upon the inherent messages not only in ‘The Help’ but all movies because there are always overt and covert messages that each one of us absorbs. 

*******************

Beah Richards’ (unfortunately) timeless  (one-woman) play “A Black Woman Speaks of White Womanhood” is in my opinion, the best response to Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help”. Written in 1951, it is still most appropriate.

http://afrolez.tumblr.com/post/7967989547/a-black-woman-speaks-of-white-womanhood-by-beah

List of Critiques of “The Help” by Black Women, which are listed in alphabetical order. (I know there are more than those that are listed. This list represents the ones that I read).

  1. Association of Black Women Historians’ Open Statement to Fans of ‘The Help’
    http://www.abwh.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2:open-statement-the-help&catid=1:latest-news

  2. ‘The Help’: A Feel Good Movie For White People by Valerie Boyd
    http://www.artscriticatl.com/2011/08/film-review-the-help-a-feel-good-movie-for-white-people/

  3. "The Help" and White Female Identity by Stephanie Crumpton
    http://www.urbancusp.com/newspost/the-help-and-white-female-identity/

  4. Kathryn Stockett Is Not My Sister and I’m Not Her Help by Miriam Harris
    http://www.thefeministwire.com/2011/08/12/kathryn-stockett-is-not-my-sister-and-i-am-not-her-help/

  5. Melissa Harris Perry Breaks Down The Help: ‘Ahistorical And Deeply Troubling’ (by Frances Martel)
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/melissa-harris-perry-breaks-down-the-help-ahistorical-and-deeply-troubling/

  6. Chocolate Breast Milk: A Review of ‘The’ Help by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
    http://phillisremastered.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/chocolate-breast-milk-a-review-of-the-help/

  7. No thanks Kathryn Stockett, I don’t want to be “The Help” by Joyce Ladner
    http://theladnerreportblog.blogspot.com/

  8. I’m Good Why The Help Isn’t Needed by Tonya Pendleton
    http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles%2Fentertainment%2Fmovies%2F30500%2F1#.Tio6nUx61YI
  1. Why I Will Not See ‘The Help’: A Rant by Rosetta Ross
    http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/culture/4991/

  2. Second (and Third, and Fourth…) Helpings: A Big Black Woman’s Thoughts on “The Help” by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
    http://www.thefeministwire.com/2011/08/19/second-and-third-and-fourth…-helpings-a-big-black-woman’s-thoughts-on-the-help/ 
  3. Why I’m Not Looking Forward to ‘The Help’ by Jennifer Williams
    http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/08/10/why-im-not-looking-forward-to-the-help/

  4. Love ‘The Help,’ But Please Stop Asking Me To Do The Same by Rebecca Wanzo
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-wanzo/the-help-movie_b_925550.html

List of Critiques of ‘The Help’ by White Women, which are listed in alphabetical order. (I sincerely hope there are more than those listed here. This list represents the ones that I read) 

  1. Reading The Help by Susannah Bartlow
    http://susannahbartlow.blogspot.com/2011/08/reading-help-reposted-from-facebook.html
  2. For Colored Only? Understanding “The Help” Through The Eyes of White Womanhood by Claire Potter
    http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/tenuredradical/2011/08/for-colored-only-the-role-of-white-women-in-the-help/

  3. 'The Help': Softening Segregation for a Feel-Good Flick by Alyssa Rosenberg
    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/08/the-help-softening-segregation-for-a-feel-good-flick/243395/

  4. On ‘The Help’ And Moral Reckonings by Alyssa Rosenberg
    http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2011/08/10/292646/on-the-help-and-moral-reckonings/

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