A special issue on The Help.
"Lauded for her endless gifts and selfless generosity, Mammy is summoned from the kitchen to refute the critics of southern race relations; cruelly circumscribed and taken for granted, she silently confirms them all."
"The more one examines the reception of The Help, the less one is able to categorize the reception as divided between blacks and whites or academics and general readers or those who have worked as domestics and those who haven't."
"Culture products - literary texts, television series, films, music, theatre, etc. - that look back on the Movement tell us at least as much about how contemporary culture views its own racial politics as they do about the past they purport to represent, often conveying the fantasy that the United States has triumphed over and transcended its racial past."
"Like The Help, Can't Quit You, Baby focuses on the layers of habit, antipathy, resentment, suspicion, attachment, and silence linking white employer and black employee—but in ways that are far more unsettling."
"Perhaps because the modern Civil Rights Movement and television news came of age together, the younger medium was destined to become an iconographic feature of the civil rights genre."
"The question arises: wouldn't the mammy characters be rendered more believeable in their altruism if it extended beyond white children to all children?"
"Pleasure and anger are dependent on one another for heightened authenticity. Discussing The Help with delight and outrage seems just the right action."
"I am glad she used what the women told us and made something different from it. She made people listen. I know it is fiction, and I know not everyone liked it, but she made people not forget. What more can you want?"
" . . . No, I regret nothing because what I've lived has led me here, to this room with its marvelous riches . . . "