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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Newsletter reflection: The Help


Good morning,

On Tuesday, I went to the movies. (A tip for those who don't know – movie theatres have cheaper tickets on Tuesdays.) I saw “The Help”.

This is an amazing film set in Jackson, Mississippi during the time of the civil rights movement. African Americans had “progressed” from being negro slaves, to the coloured “help”.

The story of “The Help” is about a beginning journalist who noted the strange value system that allowed “coloured” women to raise white babies, but not use the toilets in their employer's houses.

Against a background of the Ku Klux Klan killing civil rights activists, and with the knowledge that what they were doing was illegal, the writer and a group of maids put together a book, telling the stories of the maids from their point-of-view.

The movie was shocking in parts, hilarious in parts, and just great to watch. It was also a tribute to the courage of people who actually did take the risk of telling the stories of people who were overlooked in that time and place.

It made me wonder about the people whose stories we don't hear in our society. What is life like for the people who are in refugee detention centres? What was life like for them in their home countries, that they chose to come here knowing about the detention centres? What is life like for an indigenous person living on the fringes of society in our western towns? What is life like for a homeless person? What is life like for a person with an intellectual disability?

There are so many people overlooked in society. So many have stories to tell. I wonder if anyone will ever have the courage to tell them all?

Grace and Peace
Iris

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