I just finished reading 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett based on the lives of African-American maids in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. It is a truly beautiful book that focuses in on two maids- Aibileen and Minny, working for white families and a white woman, Skeeter Phelan. It expresses the boundaries all three cross in mutual friendship and fighting for change. Below is my favourite quote from this extraordinary tale where the maid Aibileen speaks to Mae Mobley,the white child in her care about Martin Luther King,
"Today I'm on tell you bout a man from outer space." She just loves hearing about peoples from outer space. Her favorite show on the tee-vee is My Favorite Martian, I pull on my antennae hats I shaped last night out a tin foil, fasten em on our heads. One for her and one for me. We look like we a couple a crazy people in them things.
"One day, a wise Martian come down to Earth to teach us people a thing or two," I say.
"Martian? How big?"
"oh, he about six-two."
"What's his name?"
"Martian Luther King."
She take a deep breath and lean her head down on my shoulder. I feel her three-year-old heart racing against mine, flapping like butterflies on my white uniform.
"He was a real nice Martian, Mister King. Looked just like us, nose, mouth, hair up on his head, but sometime people looked at him funny and sometime, well, I guess sometime people was just downright mean."
I coul get in a lot a trouble telling her these little stories, especially with Mister Leefolt. But Mae Mobley know these our "secret stories".
"Why Aibee? Why was they so mean to him?" she ask.
"Cause he was green."
Apparently I read this book just in time, as the film of it is coming out next month. I totally missed all the buzz surrounding it- don't know how!
Read this book! And if you have read it, what did you think?