How does your writing relate to your culture?
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How are you expanding the conversation of culture, and even some of its challenges, in your writing? I suppose what I'm interested in is understanding your thoughts on some of the current literature that is out there. How does it play into your psyche and writing process? Are we moving in a good direction in African American literature. If so, what authors are moving us there?
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  • My culture is diverse. I am mind, body and spirit. I feed them all by writing OUR VOICEfor the body, PONDER FAITHfor the spirit and PONDER THIS for the mind. I'm so disappointed with politics, I haven't written that one for a while ;-(
  • To me it underscores how important it is that Black people in America ( and in fact all races and cultures) have the ability to tell their own stories. Here’s another reason why.  No doubt, you’ve been following news of the rioting and looting in the UK. The British press and politicians have desperately been trying to figure out who or what was responsible for all the mayhem. David Starkey, a British historian and BBC broadcaster, well respected throughout the UK, thinks he knows who’s to blame. In a BBC interview he said Black culture was a cause of the disturbances. Worst of all, he says, too many whites in the UK have become Black. Needless to say, there’s outrage in Britain’s black communities at his comments. Listen for yourself – and mind your blood pressure.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14513517

  • Rosalie,

    The article offers great perspective on the topic. I don't know if all elements mentioned, as Medgar Evers or other mentionned concerns should have been given focus, if the movie's/book's primary function was to give a look inside the relationships black maids had with their employers. Maybe, it should have, I'm not sure but interestingly enough, for whites who were not a part of the movement, it's all too easy to ignore the importance of what it meant to blacks who were disenfranchised and reduced to living sub-human lives.

     

    The movie does a fantastic job of trivializing those relationships and while I was okay with the dialect when reading the novel, after a review of the article you provided, the language takes blacks back to the cotton fields. Even when reading the novel, I was surprised that Abilene could even read, let alone write articles for a newspaper as she did in the novel. There seems to be a misalignment of time but if this is Stockett's perspective, and it is, there still appears to be a tone of not seeing black women progressing from the cotton fields to that time in which she wrote about. That is apparent in the speech or dialect of the black characters. Her editor originally changed the speech of Abilene but she fought to keep it as such.

     

    Watching the previews feels so much like a distorted chick lit relationship of black and white women of the 1950s. I wonder how many black women who worked the kitchens and are still living felt any relationships akin to that. If the  novel itself was a little twisted, the movie offers an even larger viewing of that distortion.

     

    Thank you for the article.

  • I think they wanted to show the lighter side on the trailers. There is so much controversy. There is to be a panel of academics and activist next weekend in Fort Worth, Texas to discuss the harms to the black community. Martha Southgate wrote an excellent commentary on EW.

    tp://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20516492,00.html?fb_ref=ewcontent&fb_source=home_multiline

    It seems the controversy is never ending. To answer your question, there were humorous moments but no, I didn't get a sense of lightness. Remember, this was 1960s Mississippi. Nina Simone had a song at the time called Mississippi Goddam.

     

     

  • I know The Help is in theatres today but when you read the book, did you sense the type of mood in those relationships the movie is personifying? I didn't pick that up but maybe the previews are only showing the lighter parts of the film. Or perhaps,it resonates an air about it that's suppose to ring in ticket sales. I didn't get that it was a comedy when I read it. How does it speak to you?
  • Of course, I would have to see the movie to get the bigger picture, but it had a chick littish kind of feel to me - sort of like girlfriends with racial lines drawn.