Monday, August 22, 2011

Well I lost a bet to my wife, we were NOT the only black people at the wedding this weekend. As we were walking out, we saw two black dudes hanging out in the back, although quite honestly, I think she had them planted just so she could collect on our bet. Overall the wedding was beautiful, and quite different than any wedding I've ever attended. The bride was Romanian, the groom was Irish-Catholic, and I was totally confused throughout the ceremony. I didn't know when to stand, how long to stand, when to kneel, or any of that good stuff. And I was caught of guard when I noticed that every prayer had to be sung, not recited, which is what I'm used to seeing. Still, I wasn't so confused that I couldn't see the joy of two people coming together in holy matrimony.

The next day, the wife and I went out to eat with my grandmother, my uncle, and my cousin and the subject of the movie "The Help" was brought to the table. My uncle had just seen the movie, and he asked my grandmother about some of the jobs she had to do as a youth. My grandmother started listing all the jobs she did for white people, and she also mentioned that she took care of Judy Resnick (the woman who died in the NASA Challenger explosion back in 1986) from birth to 10 years old. I never knew ANY of these stories my grandmother was telling, and considering she's battling dementia, the effects from a stroke and retina surgery, it was amazing she remembered so damn much. I also realized for me not to have heard this story before, means I am not asking her the right questions.

So maybe THAT is the reason "The Help" was supposed to be released: To encourage dialogue with our elders, so that we can hear their stories as well. I'm still not going to see the movie though...I have no problem with it per se, I just think it sucks that black women rarely get leading roles in movies--except when movies like this come along.. but that's another entry.


Anonymous said...

beautiful song selection by Amy.

maxwellsmusze said...

Rashad I have to agree on The Help at least encouraging dialogue betweeen those of our generation and our elders. So many women and men for that matter have many stories to tell of being maids/day workers for white folks.

Janelle said...

As your Catholic friend, you should have consulted me on the fine points of stand/sit/kneel. For future reference, scan the crowd for an older woman who appears to know what she is doing the first couple of go rounds. Follow her lead for the rest of the service. You will either look like a champ or a fool but either way it will be fodder for this here blog. hahahahahaha

One of my many regrets is not getting all of my great-grandmothers stories down on paper. So ask your grandmother all the questions she can handle and record her memories.
My mom and I read the Help. Now we want to see the movie to compare notes over dinner. I feel you on this where are the strong roles for strong black women without them having to cower in the face of white folks. Side eye to Hollywood.