Last week in my Psychology of African Americans class, a student presented a PowerPoint on the latest book she had read: The Help. When I saw the movie this summer, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of a White woman speaking on behalf of Black women—which is ironic as White women have been a source of oppression to Black women. In blog post by Miss Caldonia—which was written on the blog “The Ladner Report”—the author expresses similar sentiment. She writes about her experience as being a maid to a White woman, Jo Lee, and describes being asked to perform disgusting tasks, such as cleaning the period stain out of her underwear. Miss Caldonia writes, “There is nothing glorious about cleaning up after dirty people and nothing like being exploited by people who don’t give a damn about you…can you imagine Jo Lee writing a book about me, my feelings, dreams, thoughts, aspirations and goals? Can you imagine Jo Lee being able to step out of her role of racial superiority long enough to give voice to me and my family? (Caldonia, 2011). The author certainly has a point, but why is it that the story glorifies the exploited work of Black women? Why was there such frenzy around this book? Was it White guilt, or something else?
There’s been a great deal of controversy these past couple of years about the future of the James Bond film franchise, a favorite among movie-goers who are into explosions and tuxedos. Current Bond actor Daniel Craig is poised to put down the 007 mantle before long, and of course a new Bond needs to emerge in his wake. When an email between Sony and Columbia film executives was leaked in 2014, fans of the franchise learned that British actor Idris Elba was being considered for the role. Many fans of both Bond and Elba rallied around the idea, supporting the … Read more