The Help

Watching this and a lot of what the movie represents, is still relevant. Black mothers still are telling their Black daughters to watch their mouths, not to sass, not to be outspoken. When we go to school, we’re told we have to try harder, we have to be better than everyone else to get the same recognition, and that we can’t act the way the other kids act. You can believe this or you cannot. Be the problem or acknowledge it.

When I was in college, I took Sociology of gender, and racial and cultural minorities. Often times, both classes would be speaking on similar issues. I specifically remember reading a dissertation about Black children. The teachers, even black ones, would tell their Black students they couldn’t have fun the way white children could. One specific story was about a black girl who was having a bad day and yelled, her teacher told her she didn’t have the luxury of expressing herself that way.

Why is it, that these messages are still being passed down. Why is it when you see a group of black students you want to tell them they can’t stand around, that they need to be productive? Don’t they know everyone is watching them? Waiting for them to mess up? That’s a deep seeded sociological and social issue. Whether black or white, we have to stop thinking this way and putting it, forcing it, on our kids. We should teach them to be the best, so that they can be proud, so they can say they did their best, not because they need to prove anything to anyone.

I look back at who I used to be. I’ve lost the brave girl, she never took any bull, now I take a good bit. The more I acknowledge it, the closer I get to getting her back. That’s the beauty of our time. Even with the rampant racist, sexist, and ignorant bs, we can do better. We can acknowledge our flaws and change them. Instead of focusing on changing everyone else, we change, we don’t take an eye for an eye (even when it feels like the most relieving thing to do), we give love even when it hurts.

I still struggle to continue being a loving person. I struggle not to turn into a cold person. Every time someone hurts me, it gets easier to want to be cold, but harder to actually do it. So, be honest with yourself. If you know you’re a liar, fess it up, and do better. If you know you’re a nasty manipulator, stop using your ability negatively. Manipulate people to be happy, to love more, don’t hurt them. We all have gifts, use them to help others and maybe we can finally get some progress that isn’t just face value.

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