Contra Costa Times Quotes SMC Dean On Controversy Surrounding Civil Rights Era Film "The Help"
The Contra Costa Times turned to School of Liberal Arts Dean Steve Woolpert for his thoughts about the controversy surrounding the Hollywood movie "The Help." An adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's 2009 best-selling novel, "The Help" is about a young white journalist who chronicles the stories of Southern black maids in the early 1960s. While a box-office success, the comedy-drama has drawn criticism from some African-American journalists and academics, with charges that the Hollywood film places a white character at the center of the civil rights struggle of black people, and black women in particular.
In the article, Woolpert, a politics professor, who has taught courses which examine the civil rights movement and conflicts among racial and ethnic groups, says that even while the film is historically inaccurate, it does offer an educational opportunity for movie goers who are willing to dig deeper for historical facts and maybe address the issue of race, a topic that many people avoid.