Curator - Designer - Consultant
Click on the HELP image to the left for a five-minute video about the exhibit.
Beyond the Help: The role of the African American Maid on the Silver Screen
To examine the pivotal role of the Black maid in the shaping of stereotypes and misconceptions portrayed by the cinema as bottle washers and mammies. Their acting roles, often seen as accommodating and supportive of their employers, provided a microcosm of society's acceptance of second-class citizenship during transitional periods of social change in America.
Hollywood's casting system of Black women during the 1930s, 40s and mid-50s, created a mammy characterization that has left a tattoo of attitudes on how Black women are viewed today.
Beyond the Help shows that these down-trodden women of the kitchen, nursery and mothering, provided generations of White families with a support system. In segregated America, these women offered advice, as nurturing mid-wives in complex social and family situations that were disturbingly real then and the genesis of systemic racism today.
Reach out to LarryLester42@gmail.com for rental options. View program guide here.