An African American blog of politics, culture, and social activism.
We saw this poster on Colorlines.com, which they found on the British site TheShiznit.co.uk! Now we do not wish to cast aspersions on the actors in The Help. God knows we wish Black actors success! We just want to challenge the “whitewashing” of civil rights history in Mississippi in Hollywood films. What is particularly interesting is that Hollywood likes setting movies in Mississippi, which was one of the more brutal states for civil rights workers to organize in, lest we forget Philadelphia, Mississippi during Freedom Summer to name only one incident. This film, like other “feel good” movies Hollywood tells, The Blind Side, and even more egregiously Mississippi Burning is in a long pattern of nostalgic innocence in American cultural life from Uncle Remus to Aunt Jemima, which is quite dangerous in discerning truth and fighting for social justice. Racially coded words and antiblack racism as expressed by GOP presidential aspirants, however tells a more predictable American reality. Anyway, as the saying goes, “a picture is better than a thousand words,” or in this case a “poster.”