Watch Melissa Harris-Perry's Sharp Critique of the "The Help"
Melissa Harris-Perry went onto "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" last night to weigh in on the controversy over the novel and film "The Help," which is about black domestic workers in the early-60s south.
The controversy has made for an intense and complex discussion, one which is burning its way through movie reviews, blogs, Twitter and more--and eliciting wonderful and thought-provoking responses (a few good ones arehighlighted by Kristen Gwynne here.)
Harris-Perry spoke about the "feel-good" film being part of a troubling cultural trend of whitewashing of "black women's labor exploitation," as well the continuation of the pernicious "mammy" stereotype, and the prettifying of the brutal history of the Jim Crow Era South at the dawn of the civil rights movement, a movement spearheaded by black citizens, not their white employers.
If you've been following the discussions or not, it's an important video to watch.