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Old 09-25-2012, 07:09 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by 7165red View Post
I, remember the first time I went to the south and saw two drinking water fountains and one marked colored and I was so struck because I was from the north. We went to the movies and I wanted to sit in the balcony and was told no it's only for colored people. I was so taken back. When I saw the help it was hard to believe the way they treated as they would say colored people. Thank God we have come a long way, it was awful.
Having grown up in the Deep South, born in 1956, I can promise you that was a way of life in my town. I remember wanting to sit in the back of the bus with the "colored people" and my very Victorian grandmother nearly had a stroke at the thought. My elementary school integrated when I was about 10. And by "integrated" I mean they allowed exactly 5 black children, one in every grade. I remember them having to sit together at lunch, at a table way in the back. I felt sorry for them because they seemed to have no friends other than each other. But not having grown up with people of color in my social circle, I would have never gone and sat with them myself. Not because i hated them but because societal pressure precluded it. White people in Mississippi in the 60s simply did not share space with people of color. Not black people, not Latino people, and certainly not biracial people. That was the worst thing of all! And NO WAY would they have been allowed to worship in church with the rest of us. In my church, they would have been escorted at the door and met by the sherriff!

I am grateful that my parents were not particularly bigoted. They would have never allowed us to speak badly of other people or treat them badly, no matter what their color. Not that they would have moved into a mixed race neighborhood--they weren't THAT tolerant. But when I married my husband in 1981 (also in the Deep South) I was truly shocked at my inlaws attitudes and language. DH & I had many African-American friends in college and wouldn't have thought to ever be so disrespectful. One of the reasons we moved to Atlanta was go get away from their small-town hatefulness. No way was I going to raise my children around such arrogant, nasty people.

I *am* glad that things are so different today. My kids think nothing of having friends of all races. They have both dated persons of color, AA, Asian, and Mexican. Today, in my circle of friends you would NEVER hear thing things I heard in my childhood. Because we're all mixed in. We socialize in each other's homes. We worship together and do mission work together. When we're sick or hurting, nobody stops to think "Hey, I can't bring them food(or prayer or whatever.) They're not like US."

I thought The Help was excrutiatingly truthful. Painful to watch and shameful to hail from places where it was the status quo.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:40 PM   #32
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I lived in an area (in the 50's) where 'whites' were on one side of the road and 'coloreds' were on the other side of the street. We played together in school, but never never went in to each others homes. I remember meeting up with the little girl from across the street and her telling me to come with her, while she got a ball for us to play with. She invited me in her home where I heard her dad ask what was she doing...she knew no whites were allowed in the house. I was amazed, because I thought no 'coloreds' were allowed in my house..but but, I was white, why wasn't I allowed in her house? I was 7 at the time, and didn't realize it went both ways.

We have met many years later and talked about it. Turns out both of our parents were prejudiced against each other. It's something you learn, and thankfully we were able to know the person, and once you do, you don't see color. We remained friends through school, however, it wasn't until high school that we sat together...it just wasn't done before then (and the 60's).

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Old 09-25-2012, 08:20 PM   #33

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Originally Posted by okeydokey View Post
By teaching our children.
And that's the hard part OD.

I told this story when it happen but remember when that crazy women said her and her daughter was carjacked in PA by "two black" men and then was later found in the Grand floridain. Well that was almost like open season for the area police on African American males in the tristate area. My sons were pulled over twice and detained for no other reason than being black, even though they were younger than the supposed "assailant" and live 30 miles away. Every cop with an attitude decide to round blacks up.

To say I was mad was an understatement and now I totally admit to teaching my sons to never ever trust cops. They have been instructed what to say to the police and what not to say and above all else to not make any sudden moves and to repeatedly ask to call their parents.

In my head I know it's totally irrational but I can't shake the fear that some robo cop who sterotypes blacks is going to shoot first and ask questions later and truthfully I can't take the chance. I rather they be distrustful and alive
Luckily we live in a very diverse neighborhood and both boys have white roommates that are great friends.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:31 PM   #34
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My mother lived through integration in Jackson, Mississippi. She has many stories, and she usually cries when she tells them. In fifth grade, she moved from her all-white school to the newly integrated black school. She said it was difficult because while integration was forced upon the children, the teachers remained segregated. All of her teachers were black, and there was definitely favoritism towards the black children... but the same thing was happening at the white school.

The Help was actually based on true stories that occured while my mother was growing up. My mother's family wasn't nearly rich enough to have black help, but many of her peers did.

My cousin's wife (in her early 30s) is the youngest of four girls (their father [was] a very rich man... I don't want to reveal his name, as he's rather well-known) and they were all raised by a black nanny. Joann - she is still their help. She goes on vacation with them and now helps take care of their children, as well as her mother. They all love Joann. (But I bet Joann has a bunch of dirt on them.)

I actually witnessed racism towards Joann, but note, it was by my grandmother who is suffering from dementia who Joann also now helps take care of. My sister and I were going shopping and were asking my aunt where to go. My grandmother blurts out, "Just don't cross the tracks!" right in front of Joann (That's the black part of town). I was mortified - cheeks beet red. But Joann didn't bat an eye.

But it's a very twisted principle, the concept of the help, and I really enjoyed the book - especially since it takes place where my mother grew up.

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Old 09-25-2012, 08:39 PM   #35
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The Help is my absolute favorite book. I think it's one of the most important books written. It really gave us a true insight of what exactly went on in both types of homes....whites and blacks. I thought the movie was good but no where near as good as the book. My mother saw the movie and was shocked. Although she grew up in the 50's and 60's, she grew up in New England so she only heard about what went on in the south. She was disgusted that that happened in her lifetime.

Someone mentioned how it was surprising how the help couldn't use the same bathroom but could prepare meals. I've been reading a lot of books about slavery during the late 1700's early 1800's. The slaves couldn't use the same stairway and lived in shacks but not only did they nurse white babies for the white mothers, a lot of the slave women had babies fathered by their white masters. Unbelievable, that way of thinking isn't it??
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