When the movie The Help opens this week, hundreds of thousands of viewers will get swept up in the story of domestic workers who are struggling for dignity and respect in Civil Rights-era Mississippi. What those viewers might be surprised to learn is that across America, modern domestic workers are living out that struggle today.
Just as the domestic workers in The Help were part of a persecuted and marginalized community, many of today’s “help” are immigrant women whose communities are blamed for our nation’s economic troubles. 50 years after the stories told in The Help, domestic workers are still an unprotected sector of the labor force, without access to basic rights other workers take for granted. Far too few domestic workers receive overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, sick leave or paid vacation. And far too many of them work for less than minimum wage. In this regard, too little has changed.
On Wednesday, when the movie is released, the National Domestic Workers Alliance will release their own video about the social movement being built by today’s “help” – a movement of domestic workers lifting their voices, breaking out of the isolation that comes from working in private homes, organizing for their rights – and winning. You can help be there for today’s “help” by helping us promote this video. Please check back here on Wednesday, and take a moment to:
Share the video on Facebook, Twitter or other social media, using the hashtags #theHelpMovie and #todaysHelp on twitter
Post the video on your own website or blog:
Post your thoughts about the connections between the movie and the current domestic workers’ struggles in the comments section of the movie’s official Facebook page:
or on the Facebook walls of these fan pages for the book: