People magazine tried to delete this real quick, but I just wanted to let y’all know that no matter what, we’ll always be maids to some folks.
I loved the characters in HTGAWM because they were relatable. Both my spouse and I share the experience of being among a handful of black students in a higher learning environment. And while that isn’t what the show is “about”, it’s important that these characters are represented because folks like to think of blackness as this very static, one dimensional thing and way of being. This too is indeed apart of the black experience, because well, we can’t all be rappers/reality stars. We are law professors and law students too!
I had already heard about the nonsense that was the NYT article, and I am not the least bit surprised by these comments from People Mag! The amount of racism that slides up into mainstream media as a “joke” is disgusting! No one expected Charlize Theron to look/act like her character in “Monster” after the film was done. No one expected Jennifer Connelly to act like an addict after she finished “Requiem for a Dream”. I could go on and on with this list. These are professional ACTORS! Once the role is done, that’s it. However, this tweet highlighted the fact that “they” think Viola’s character from “The Help”, is in fact, apart of her identity. Y’all are going to be waiting a long fucking time for her to repeat those lines because in case y’all forgot, Viola majored in theatre at Rhode Island College, graduated in 1988 and in 2002 she received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from the college. She also attended the Juilliard School for four years, as a member of the Drama Division’s Group 22. She’s an educated professional, not a fucking maid!
yes to most of this, and i just want to really stress that maids and other domestic workers shouldn’t be thrown under the bus in an attempt to (rightly) defend viola from racism and disrespect.
also to contextualize this tweet, people magazine reportedly told a former editor (who is now suing for racial discrimination), that she needs to “talk like everyone else [there because] she’s not at essence anymore.” they also suggested that ciara wouldn’t keep her loc extensions for her wedding because the wedding was supposed to be elegant.
OKAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT ROBERT SMALLS (BECAUSE HE HAS A NAME, THANK YOU VERY MUCH).
Robert Smalls was born into slavery in 1839 and at the age of 12 his owner leased him out in Charleston, South Carolina. He gravitated towards working at the docks and on boats and eventually became the equivalent of a pilot, and in late 1861 he found himself assigned to a military transport boat named the CSS Planter.
On May 12, 1862, the white officers decided to spend the night on land. Smalls rounded up the enslaved crew and they hatched a plan, and once the officers were long gone they made a run for it, only stopping to pick up their families (who they notified) along the way. Smalls, disguised as the captain, steered the boat past Confederate forts (including Ft. Sumter) and over to the Union blockade, raising a white sheet his wife took from her job as a hotel maid as a flag of truce. The CSS Planter had a highly valuable code book and all manner of explosives on board.
Smalls ended up serving in the Union Navy and rose to the rank of captain there. He was also one of a number of individuals who talked to Abraham Lincoln about the possibility of African-American soldiers fighting for the Union, which became a reality.
After the war, Smalls bought his owner’s old plantation in Beaufort and even allowed the owner’s sickly wife to move back in until her death. He eventually served in the South Carolina House of Representatives (1865-1870), the South Carolina Senate (1871-1874), and the United States House of Representatives (1875-1879) and represented South Carolina’s 5th District from 1882-1883 and the 7th District from 1884-1887. He and other black politicians also fought against an amendment designed to disenfranchise black voters in 1895, but it unfortunately passed.
Smalls ended his public life by serving as U.S. Collector of Customs in Beaufort from 1889-1911. He died in 1915 at the age of 75.
And now you know Robert Smalls.
ROBERT SMALLS IS THE MAN.
"I’d had five operations on my uterus, and after the last one, the doctor sat me down and told me that I would never have a child. He scheduled a surgery to have my uterus completely removed. I wanted a baby so much, so it was almost like hearing that my life was over. One week later, I started feeling strange. I started craving bread and falling asleep early, but I’ve always had problems with my hormone levels, so I thought it was nothing. My friends would joke that I was pregnant, but it was too hurtful for me to even joke about. Then after three months, I felt so bad that I had to spend a day in bed, and after that my friend drove me to the pharmacy and forced me to take a pregnancy test. I came home and laid the test on the counter without even looking at it. I didn’t want to be let down again. Then right before I went to bed, I finally looked, and there it was. After all these years, I still have that test. One month before they were going to remove my uterus, I’d finally gotten pregnant."
(Mexico City, Mexico)
After NBC debuted its three-hour block of Shonda Rhimes programming on Thursday, including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away with Murder, we asked four black women to explain the significance of this TV event
i had a lot of fun participating in this :)
this was so great to read!! It sums up so much of why I’ve been in the past drawn to Grey’s anatomy, and why I still watch Scandal, and why i know can’t wait for TGIT and my new fave show How to get away with murder. I also laaav how you have variety of perspectives of why people are drawn to this shown. for me i love that she showed black women experiencing pleasure w/o shame (HTGAWM) the complex and multifaceted portrayals of black women, poc, and white women, and so much more. READ THIS PIECE!!!!!