The post is several years old. One of you all asked me about the reply of a poster listed below.:
Why didn’t I list the name of the books? [I don’t remember the name of the books, but I do remember why I didn’t list the books under their review. I didn’t list the book for the reasons listed below.]
The authors know I wrote this review in an attempt to educate them what racism is and how to recognize it. It was a nonfictional autobiography supposedly about adult women talking about the African American women who raised them and how little they knew about them.
A Tribute??? WTF!!
Ann Harden’s reply to post about a book:
Let me see can I help you to understand why these authors saw nothing wrong with what they wrote. In their minds, it was a tribute. It was genuine their way of saying “Thank You”. They were reared to believe it was all about them. It never occurred to them that it was otherwise. The women who raised them knew their biological parents had messed them up in the heads as to why they listened and didn’t tell the babies they raised to get away from them.
Alma, I know it’s hard for someone of your generation to understand this was once a common practice. You can’t fathom what it was truly like years ago when segregation reigned throughout the country. Being someone like yourself who never lived through this era, it’s difficult to wrap your mind around the callousness of it. To fully understand what it was like back then one had to have lived through it.
That’s why I can’t understand why so many poor whites support Trump when if things are rolled back to the era they think was so great (and many are old enough better. Old enough to know things weren’t so great for the average person). It was only great for middle class and upward. If time was turned back most whites wouldn’t be living as they live today. You see, the large population of prosper whites we see today didn’t occur until the early 1960’s. It happened when a large number of whites were able to move out the inner city and country side into the suburban areas. Not the 1950’s as so many has been led to believe. Not when classism was still in effect. The Civil Right Act of 1964 killed classicism more than whites want to admit. It helped the poor whites moreso than African Americans. Because companies could no longer discriminate against you because of the social class you were born into.
Before then, everyone else, black and white alike was living in slums and the only jobs poor women black or white were able to get outside the home after the men returned after world war II was in the home of a middle class or upper middle woman’s household. It was a very common practice back then to work in the homes of your landlord and his friends. This was how you paid your rent. The husband of the maid worked outside the home at another job. His income was how the family of the poor ate or bought other essentials. The wife’s job usually paid the rent. They justified the rent as to why she was worked so long and hard and was literally paid pennies. Some of these jobs paid as little as 5 cent a day if anything at all. Saying they were deducting cost of the rent from her pay. Most shack houses or slum apartments, back then, didn’t cost nowhere near the amount of work these poor women put in. Had they been honestly paid they would have made more than enough to cover the rent.
Most of these slum houses in large and small cities alike were owned by the same people they worked for or an associate.
I was born in, the 1950’s and have seen this first hand, I was born and raised in the suburbs. But my family didn’t practice this. Thanks God they didn’t. But it was plentiful in my neighborhood. It wasn’t strange to hear the bus braking and letting these women out at the end of the boulevard around 4:00 in the morning. Why in the hell couldn’t it drive through the neighborhood and let them out? Because everyone was sleeping and was not to be disturbed and they didn’t care they had to work a mile or two to reach their job.
That’s what time they arrived if no new baby or small, unpottie trained child was in the suburban home they worked in. If a small child or infant was present, then they stayed over night until the child was pottery trained. Never mind they had children at home being raised by whomever next of kin.
Why does everyone think parenting is so hard for the middle and upper class nowadays? Because they never had to do it. The middle and upper class who came of age in the late sixties and early seventies are the first generation forced to raise their own children since the 1600’s. That’s why it is so exciting and new to them and why they run all over the place trying to force the alleged joys of this new-found task upon other women whom it isn’t new to. No, you can’t lay in bed and cry and moan about how you feel when you got screaming infants in shitty diapers demanding your attention.
Frankly, I couldn’t stand the Serena Joys and June Cleavers growing when I was up in the 50’s because all I encountered were a bunch of mean, racist fakes. Just like today’s version of them. They are the same just in modern clothing.
The movie, “The Help” merely scuffled the surface of what that life was truly like. So, no the persons trying to write a tribute to the women who cared for them and raised them knows nothing about these women. All the loyalty must be directed at the birth mother who did nothing other than gave birth to them. Most of these women spend their days in bed talking about how depressed they are or when up and moving about wearing pearls and high heels their conversations were what diet they could try next or giving parties accrediting themselves to the meals the help cooked. Only a few did their own shopping. However, they had to serve the meals because their racist husbands who was raised by a black woman or poor white woman wasn’t going to eat the food if his wife didn’t serve it on his plate. Never mind the woman he didn’t think good enough to serve him was who cooked the damn food. That aspect was exemplified in “The Help”. I know most young people missed the meaning of it.
These women were basically a slave by another name. They came to work via the back door and left through the back door. They shouldn’t use the toilet while at work. Although, everyone knows they did when cleaning the bathroom. They couldn’t eat what they had cooked. Couldn’t put their food in their refrigerator. If the family was eating in the kitchen they had to go to another room or eat on the porch or in the back yard. If they bought a small child and if the child not old enough to work the child had to stay on the back porch. Never mind it may had been hot or cold outside. No, I’m talking about the South in the 1800’s. I’m talking about the North well in the 20th century. Many who practiced this is still alive.
These women duly kept their daughters away from these jobs to protect them because if that middle-class woman’s husband or sons wanted that girl there was nothing going to be done about neither of them molesting that child or teenager. This is the ugly truth that was left out “The Help”. They vaguely touch it when Minnie was upset about sending her daughter to work in a household after the family fired her. However, If the girl talked. She ended up dead or if not dead her reputation was ruined, and the employer’s wife is who help ruin it.
Young people, these psycho bitches went after four and five-year-old girls saying it was the child’s fault if their teenage sons or husbands molested the child. If the girls’ mothers dared to speak up and quit that job. It was hell to pay. If the mother left on these terms it wasn’t uncommon for the Serena Joys to say she stole something and she ended up in prison. If the victim was small. She ended up sent away from home to relatives in another state, in state care, or an orphanage and if she was a teen she ended up dead or in a reformatory for bad girls. It was never the male’s fault. I believe this part could be mentioned since they are bringing up the incidents of the priests who did this long ago. If the girl’s mothers decided to fight back. Then these wives pushed back harder. They got together in their warpath party which was disguised as Tupperware party and was wanton determined to ruin a child’s life if the mother refused to shut up about it.
Now, do you understand why I don’t like them nor their modern-day counterpart who speak the same bullshit? Why does anyone think people have a hard time reading about this era if it isn’t painted with rose tinted glass and the Africa Americans aren’t meek and mild?
This practice had gone on since the 1870’s all the way up unto the late 1960’s. The enforcement of the labor laws abolished this practice. After it was enforced in the late 1960’s these people were evicted from their homes.
No, not every single employee and their employer had this kind of relationship. Some treated their maid very well, but they had to hide it from the general public or they would come under attack from the community for ‘encouraging ‘them’ to step out of their places. But from what I read in the post that wasn’t the case with the two authors who asked you to review their books.
It was in many ways, it was a lesser form of slavery all over again, just under another name.
On Tue, Aug 21, 2018 at 3:47 AM, The Novel: UnHoly Pursuit: Devil on my Trail
I can almost hear my deceased husband’s voice saying to me as Flo said to the bird in the Progressive Insurance commercial as the bird is seriously thinking of crapping on a car:
“Don’t you do it.”
His words would be: “Alma, don’t say it. Shut up. Just be quiet.”
But he know me. He knows I’m just like that bird. I’m going to do it or say it anyway and damn the consequences.
Recently, I read two supposedly tributes to women who worked for two separate families basically until they were too old to perform the jobs. In my opinion, it was a retelling of “The Help”.
I don’t think they were called domestic employees back then because the person did everything for that household from cooking breakfast, dinner, supper, cleaning the house, laundry, to taking care of the children. And most didn’t live in that household. So, to have breakfast ready by six in the morning meant they had to leave home very early.
I was left wondering how was it a tribute which is an act, a statement, or gift of words that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration when the entire books were about how hard these women worked and how they made ‘you‘ feel happy, safe and how much you loved their cooking.
I need someone to help me wrap my mind around this one. Because I’m not getting it. Unusually, I’m a very understanding person. Perhaps someone can help me to understand how was that tribute? When it was all about me, me, me, my family, my mother, my father, my sister, my brothers, my cousins, my grandparents, our house, my house, me, me, my life, me, my husband, me. How in the hell is your mere existing a tribute to someone else’s life?
Never once was there a mention of their showing their appreciation with a kind word or a gift. It was all about the two authors and their families. Their wants, desires, and depression and whatever the devil else they were talking about. Did these people even realized these women sometimes put in as much 12-15 hours per day???
But in the end these employers knew so little about these women lives who worked for them that the authors visited them as adults to so called learn more about them but the visit wasn’t about the former employee. Still everything was about them, them, them, and how they felt. I would have told you to get the hell outta my face. I would’ve said it before I could stop myself.
No one on God’s green earth could possible be so utterly ignorant to not know that wasn’t a tribute. They couldn’t possible have not known those were insults. It would have been better had they simply kept those words to themselves.
Normally, I say to each their own when I’m asked to review a book or article. But people need to take the time to educate themselves on what is racist and insulting and what is not. I know perhaps some are going to unsubscribe but I can’t live a life not standing up for anything.
I believe like Alexander Hamilton said, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”
Now, do you understand why I didn’t list nor provide a link to the books?
Thanks for answering my question. I can’t comment for I have not read the book, but it sounds like one of those nonfictional novels of the privileged discussing their life with the maid/housekeeper, when the person who wrote it had no idea what they are talking about. These books are never about the maid or servant. It’s about the author and their privileged life. I have read a few. Hey, these books are enough to upset any one.
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Thanks for asking the question. 🙂
This was not a contribute. A contribute is about the other person, not you. These were autobiographs.
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That was a chilling account given by someone who actually lived in this time period. My grandmother worked such a job for years. Nope, no appreciation or retirement benefits were part of the package. We didn’t let her go to the 90th birthday party they threw for her. She was not 90. She was 79. The woman she worked for always tried to make my grandmother older than her when in fact grandma was eleven years younger.
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Yes, it was a very stirring account of someone who lived through that era which really wasn’t very long ago. I can’t even begin to imagine what these women went through beginning their late teens usually until their mid-sixties.