Monday, July 18, 2011

Movie "The Help"

Watching the trailer for "The Help" movie reminds me that I need to record my grandmother's story about her working life as a Domestic for white families from the early 1940s to sometime during the 1970s. She refers to her working life as “Day’s Work” and I’ve heard others from her generation use this term to refer to Domestic work.

Thanks to Robin Foster of Saving Stories for posting this link on Facebook today. The trailer certainly ignited oral histories I’ve heard over the years and motivated me to revisit these memories from my grandmother. In Grandma's china closet are various items given to her by some of her employers and I recall conversations with her about which items were given by whom. However, I don’t recall who gave what so this time I plan to record these memories.

Therefore my genealogy priories for the week are as follows:

  1. Write down what I remember Grandma saying about her life as a Domestic.

  2. Write down questions to ask her about her life as a Domestic.

  3. Take photos and inventory items in china closet which were given to her by her employers and record her memories of these items.

  4. Begin recording and writing her memories of her life as a Domestic in Richmond, VA, Washington, DC, and Newport News, VA.

Trailer for Movie, "The Help"

Mary J. Blige records New Song For the Help


J said...

This is going to be a great film. Someone told me about the book early in the year. I started readig it, not knowing it was being made into a movie a few months ago. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I read the book mainly because I remembered both of my grandmothers working for white folks. I wish they were alive so I could ask them questions about that now! I just remember being pissed off that my grandmothers were going to work for those "folks"! My mom's mother had a college degree and her own business but she still worked for the white folks...mainly she cooked for them. The book brought back a lot of memories of overheard conversations between my grandmothers and their friends...
From Donna D

In Black and White: Cross-Cultural Genealogy said...

Thank you so much for posting about this film. My husband came home from work the other day and told me he had seen a trailer for it. As he spoke, I immediately knew it would be one I wouldn't want to miss. When I view the trailers here, I was brought to smiles and tears. So many in my husband's family had been domestics...his Aunt Albertha in Detroit...back to his great grandmother in Harlow, NC...and many in-between.

Mavis said...

I just read the book. It was reading for the month for the book club that I'm a member of.

It reminded me of my oldest maternal aunt who was a domestic her entire life. My aunt died in 1995. Being the oldest of my maternal grandparents children, I was always saddened and angry that she thought there was nothing else for her even after times changed somewhat. After industry jobs were available, her younger sisters, which includes my mother, always tried to get her to apply for one of those jobs but she wouldn't do it.