Stagnant Blackness and the Modern Race Drama


"THE HELP" 946_D_08558R In Jackson, Mississippi in 1963, (left to right) Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone), Minnie Jackson (Octavia Spencer) and Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) together take a risk that could have profound consequences for them all in DreamWorks Pictures' drama, "The Help", based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett. Ph: Dale Robinette ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

Literary Editor Chris Prioleau has an essay up on The Awl this week:

It feels as if, where the modern race drama is concerned, we’re not as firmly central in our own stories as one might think. These stories are still coming from the same set of antiquated notions that wrote Hattie McDaniel’s speech for her, notions that dictate that a dramatic non-white narrative is only successful in so far as it speaks to the good-intentioned but ultimately reductive theme of racial progress, which in this case is a euphemism for proving one’s worth to the white population.

Read the rest here.

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