Americans Are Determined to Believe in Black Progress
Jennifer A. Richeson in The Atlantic –
For two days in early June, as America was erupting in sustained protests over the killing of a Black man, George Floyd, by police in Minneapolis, the most watched movie on Netflix was The Help. The 2011 film—which depicts Black servants working in affluent white households in 1960s Mississippi, and centers on a white female journalist—won acclaim in some quarters. But it has also been criticized as a sentimental and simplistic portrayal of racism—and redemption—amid the cruelties of Jim Crow.
To ask what was going on here—why people started watching The Help at a moment of deep racial trauma—is to risk tumbling down a rabbit hole.