UnderCover Waitress: The Help

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Help

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Just finished reading "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. It was an amazingly good read and I couldn't put it down until I was finished.

"The Help" explores the feelings and experiences of "colored" maids in the deep South leading up the Civil Rights Movement. This book lays out the injuries and insults to human dignity of the Jim Crow laws, as well as the innocence of young children who must be taught to see people that they love as inferior.

I am neither so insensitive nor so stupid as to try to equate Jim Crowe with modern-day waitressing, but I will say that class lines are class lines in any and every culture. For example, in many restaurants servers are expected to use a different bathroom than guests. Waitresses are the inferior class, the servant class, who are held to different rules.

We had the roof of our house replaced a few years back. I was shocked to walk out to my car and realize that a worker was emptying his bladder at the side of our barn. I mentioned this to the people in charge; they always do that because homeowners don't usually want to share the bathroom. I insisted. From then on, the workers would make a quick trip inside to the downstairs half-bath. They are people, too.

"The Help" is well-written, sensitive, and accurate. I highly recommend this book. You can order your copy right here:

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