Allison Hepburn


Professor Ramos

English 010 @3pm



Help Others Too


Award Winning movie “The Help” based in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960’s is primarily about the relationships between black maids and their white employers. It starts with Skeeter, played by Emma Stone, A young white female who is a recent college graduate trying to pursue her dream as a writer. Skeeter is Surrounded by friends and family who have a sense of “white entitlement”.  She secretly befriends two black nannies” Aibileen” played by Viola Davies and “Minnie” played by Octavia Spencer learning abo

ut their time working in white households and puts their stories in her book, giving them a voice. Many of the nanny’s stories included taking care of white family’s children while the white didn’t, having to go to the restroom outside in the rain, not eating at the same table and so much more hardships.  Throughout the movie you will see the struggles that many African Americans had to endure in their everyday lives in the 1960s.Some moments hard to watch, some are definitely sad, but also has spurts of humor that will make you laugh.

This was the time when the Jim Crow Law was in effect.  Jim Crow was the name of the racial segregation system, which operated mostly in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s(Pilgrim2).It was a way of life(Pilgrim2). Under Jim Crow, African Americans were given the status of second-class citizens. In the movie “The Help” there are many scenes where the nannies in the white household are treated less than and gives you an actual idea of how life was for them when this was in effect. Jim Crow helped to make anti-black racism appear right Pro segregation politicians gave persuasive speeches on the great danger of integration: the destruction of the purity of the white race (Pilgrim2). The Jim Crow system was based on the following beliefs: whites were superior to blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; relationships between blacks and whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America; treating blacks as equals would encourage interracial relationships between men and women; any activity which suggested social equality encouraged interracial sexual relations; if necessary, violence must be used to keep blacks at the bottom racial level (Pilgrim2) . The following Jim Crow etiquette norms show how inclusive and pervasive these norms were:

  1. A black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a white male because it

implied being socially equal. Obviously, a black male could not offer his hand or any other

part of his body to a white woman, because he risked being accused of rape.

  1. Blacks and whites were not supposed to eat together. If they did eat together, whites

were to be served first, and some sort of partition was to be placed between them.

  1. Under no circumstance was a black male to offer to light the cigarette of a white female–

that gesture implied intimacy.

  1. Blacks were not allowed to show public affection toward one another in public, especially

kissing, because it offended whites.

  1. Jim Crow etiquette required that blacks were introduced to whites, never whites to blacks.

For example: “Mr. Peters (the white person), this is Charlie (the black person), that I

spoke to you about.”

  1. Whites did not use courtesy titles of respect when referring to blacks, for example, Mr.,

Mrs., Miss., Sir, or Ma’am. Instead, blacks were called by their first names. Blacks had to

use courtesy titles when referring to whites, and were not allowed to call them by their

first names.

  1. If a black person rode in a car driven by a white person, the black person sat in the back

seat or the back of a truck.

  1. motorists had the right-of-way at all intersections. (Pilgrim2).

Many of these disturbing laws you will see during this movie. As you could imagine these nannies were very hesitant about telling their stories about these white families and what they have seen and went through while working there, worrying they might get into trouble or something might happen to them. One of the best parts about this film is you have Skeeter (a white woman) who is genuinely trying to help these women and doesn’t seem to look at them as any different or any less then herself, nor does she care about what her other friends who don’t approve think. The friendship and trust that they build Is amazing to watch and really captures your heart.

This Film had many amazing top Actresses such as; Emma Stone, playing the character Skeeter, Won 1 Oscar. Another 58 wins & 120 nominations, playing a humble character who wants to give these women a voice (IMDB); Viola Davis an Oscar winner 84 wins and 111 nominations, including this movies, a brave black woman telling her hardships for the first time to a white person (IMDB); Octavia Spencer Won 1 Oscar. Another 32 wins & 65 nominations playing a spit fire Nannie taking life into her own hands (IMDB). These Actresses really brought this movie to life and gave amazing performances that just might bring a tear to your eye.

This movie gives you the perfect view of the different situations that are at the same time educational to people who want to know exactly how it was like be an African American in the southern states during the 1960’s.And a friendship and relationship that was surprising to many at the time.

This Movie has countless awards and is a must watch, I give “ The Help” a 10 out of 10.


Annotated Bibliography

Imdb,, Inc. 1990-2018

This is a constantly updated site about actors achievements, awards and movies

I will us this source in my review to give credit to the actresses in the movie “The Help”.


Pilgrim, David. “What Was Jim Crow?.” Ferris State University 16 (2000): 2007.

I will use this source in my paper to describe the Jim Crow Law and how life was for African Americans in the south

This is a credible source coming from Ferris State University.



“The Help” Directed by Tate, Taylor, performances by Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer Dream Works Studio, 2011.

I am writing about “The Help” in my essay because it is about African American maids and their hardships in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960’s

This is a DreamWorks movie produced in 2011.