The South. It’s a beautiful but haunted kind of place, filled with the vestiges of the Civil War, slavery and romantic longing for a “different way of life.” You may ask, “What does this Jewish girl living in Brooklyn know about the South?” but I actually lived there as a kid, in Fort Worth, Texas. It is something of a different world down there. And later, when my parents moved us to Southern New Jersey, I experienced a different kind of south — because the tip of New Jersey is below the Mason-Dixon line, there is a contingent of people who live in New Jersey who consider themselves southerners. They have “southern pride.” Is this crazy? Perhaps.
But whether you’ve lived there or not, it’s clear that there are still some rather mighty problems when it comes to race and the South. I mean, there are still segregated proms in Georgia.
Enter Brad Paisley’s new track, “Accidental Racist,” featuring LL Cool J. Keep reading »
“I think that we have parents that we have to answer to [in the South]. My mother would die if she found out that I treated someone rudely. … When I was down there, I was wearing a dress, I got it at Goodwill or something. And she was like, “Shouldn’t you wear a slip under that?” I was like, “I wasn’t going to.” And she was like, [makes a disproving noise]. I was like, “Does it make you uncomfortable?” And she was like, “I think you should wear a slip under that.” Can you see my underwear? “Well, no, but it doesn’t have a lining.” [laughs] I was like, “Oh yeah! That’s real here,” you know what I mean? Those are still real concerns of the Southern culture.”
– Gossip’s Beth Ditto talks to The Village Voice about being from the South (she’s “related to half of Arkansas,” she jokes) and touches on ideas about Southern charm and womanhood. It’s funny to me that Beth Ditto, of all people, may have been raised with these ideas about stereotypical femininity, because the reason that everyone loves her is that she’s all, like, “Yeah, I’m 300 lbs and wearing purple lipstick with mint green eyeshadow, you wanna make something of it?!” Then again, we could all use a friendly reminder that people don’t fit into boxes. [Village Voice]
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
was one of my favorite books of 2010 — and millions of other readers agree. This summer, “The Help” hits the big screen, starring Emma Stone
as Skeeter, a white recent college graduate writing for the local newspaper in her Mississippi town, and Viola Davis
(“Doubt”) as Aibileen, a black maid who works for one of Skeeter’s friends. Skeeter comes home from college to find all the friends she grew up with are married with children and employers to black “help,” who are second-class citizens in 1960′s Jackson, Mississippi
. The story follows Skeeter as she interviews Aibileen and other black maids for a secret book project that exposes the ugly day-to-day racism
in Jackson’s domestic life to the rest of the world. While I was originally unconvinced that teen sex comedy queen Emma Stone was the right casting for the role of Skeeter, judging by the trailer for “The Help,” she carries it off with just the right amount of sass and spunk. [AOL
] Keep reading »
Uh oh: the author of The Help, the wildly popular novel about black housemaids and nannies in the 1960′s racist, segregated South that everyone has read and loved, is getting sued! Kathryn Stockett has been accused by her brother’s maid, Ablene Cooper of Mississippi, of stealing her likeness for the main character, named Aibileen, in The Help, and portraying her poorly. She’s asking for $75,000 in damages and allegedly has the support of Stockett’s own brother and sister-in-law in her litigious quest. Keep reading »