Monday, May 3, 2010

Deep Thoughts

I love to read, but I tend to get overwhelmed when I walk over to the adult fiction section of the library. So many books to choose cause me to wander aimlessly; I do much better when I walk in with a list of recommendations, either in hand or mind.

Last weekend I finished a book mentioned by Mrs. MC. Her book club had chosen The Help by Kathryn Stockett and I was intrigued. Set in Mississippi in the early 1960s, the story follows three women - Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter. Aibileen and Minny are African-American maids serving in the homes of friends of Miss Skeeter, and together the three women come together to take on a task that has the potential to rock their town of Jackson, Mississippi. As part of the story, the author tells of desegregation and the mistrust and misconceptions white people held against African Americans during a very emotionally charged time.

I know intellectually about the civil rights movement and the atrocities that African Americans endured due to the ignorance and cowardice of others. Something about this book, though, brought up emotions that I hadn't before experienced in regards to this time in our country's history. Much like I did after watching "The Boy In The Striped Pajamas" - a story centered around a German boy and a similarly aged Jewish boy interred at a Nazi concentration camp - I found myself asking the same question over and over again: How could people let this happen?

Upon finishing this book, I had a lot of deep thoughts running through this little brain of mine. The biggest question that I keep going back to is this: What is happening in our world right now, at this very moment, that some day my grandchildren will read about and ask themselves the same question that I'm asking today?

After I answer that question, I then have to force myself to consider the answer to an even bigger question. What am I going to do about it to make a change?


The Page Turner said...

We are reading The Help for my bookclub July reading. Glad to read your review. African Americans that are my age (50's) could not walk in the front door of restaurants. Mind lowing! I think there are a couple things going on that your kids might look back on. The law in Arizona against illegals could be huge. Don't you love when a book makes you think?

Anonymous said...

This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. It certainly opens your eyes in new ways...and not all positive! I can hardly believe what the black people had to put up with.

Katie said...

I think one day our grandchildren will look back on LGBT rights and be blown away that people could be refused the right to be by their partner's deathbed, or that stable couples would be denied adoption rights simply because of their sexual orientation. People use the argument today of "But it's a sin" the same way people used to say "But black people just aren't as good as white people". It's the same idea of denying Constitutionally provided rights on the basis of a person's identity.


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