i was trying to avoid it because i'm admittedly easily upset, and had heard that different parts of the book are racially insensitive. but the movie came on tv and i liked it, then the next day i was in a thrift store and they had a copy of the book for 99 cents (hows that for a coincidence.). so i figured what the hell, at least this way if it is racist, goodwill is getting my money and not the author. i actually really liked it. it had some elements that bugged me. the dialect that only blacks used got under my skin, i mean really, only black people were the only ones in the south talking that way? This is shallow, but i'm a big follower of the BWE movement and as such, tend to be sensitive to how black women are portrayed in popular culture, it really, really, really bugged me that all the black women were discribed as either fat or old, or both. i mean they're already maids for a living, do they really need to look the stereotypical part, too? were there no beautiful maids in the 1960's. sticking with appearences, where the heck did kathryn come up with her color descriptions? after i finished, i gave the book to my younger brother, to read and see if he could find what insulted me most. he called me the same night and said "why the hell is she describing ladies as having skin the color of cockroaches and asphalt?!" i mean, yes the food comparasions for black women's skin are played out, but if it's a choice between insects and food, i'd much rather be called chocolate colored, than roach colored. then we come to (i'm forgetting names) skeeter's maid's daughter. how is skeeter's maid biracial, but "asphalt colored" while her daughter is 3/4 black and has skeeter's coloring? okay, i'm the mother of a very light mixed race daughter, so i know mixed people come out light sometimes, but that light a generation later? doesn't sound right. and then there was mae mobbley, that poor baby, i just wanted to adopt her. but even considering all that bugged me, it was an enjoyable book, i really liked it.
Originally Posted by naturaldoll
Ok great post! Not going to lie, at first I wanted to say that the reason the author had the maids speaking like that was to evolve the characters. However, after reading your post, I realized I see more of your points. It would have made more sense if the other characters also had more of a slang bc that is just how people speak in general. In a way, it did reinforce the typical stereotypes, regardless of time. I didn't even realize the comparison of skin colors! I must have either overlooked it or it didn't register. I did enjoy the book overall though as well!
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