Inferential Racism


I have not seen the movie "The Help," so I could be wrong, but it seems as though it contains many examples of "Inferential racism" that Hall talks about. The other article wrote about how characters in the movie spoke in an "over-exaggerated black dialect." Many who watched this movie probably did not associate this type of dialouge as being racist, because they have heard it so many times they think these representations are natural. The racist portrayl of how black people spoke was made, likely without the full audience even realizing that it was racist.

For those of you who DID see the movie before reading this article: Did you even notice that they way certain characters spoke may be seen as racist, or have you been conditioned to think nothing of it?



I think this is common in Hollywood. I haven't seen "The Help", but I asked my wife who had seen it. She said she didn't notice anything. This might be because she lives in Minnesota in 2011. The accents in movies can be hammed up a bit and that could be difficult to detect if you're not familiar with that area (Fargo, anyone?).


I never saw "The Help" but I do have friends and family who have seen it and raved about how great the movie was. They even made comments about how "everybody needs to see it" because it "has a great message". I don't see how hammed up accents can be seen as racist because in Hollywood, everything is hammed up.

I actually saw "The Help" because I had read the book a while back for a book club I had joined. When the movie came out and it stayed in the top spot at the box office I figured I'd go and try it out, even though I know that movies are never as good as the books. Well, watching the movie I noticed the "over-exaggerated black dialect," yet I thought it was more because of bad acting. I love Emma Stone, but her accent sounded very bad too so I just figured the movie did not hire a good sound/speech coach. However after reading through your comment and the article I realized that it wasn't just the acting, they were made to over-exaggerate the accents and really "ham" it up.

I have not seen The Help either however I do know a bit of background knowledge on it simply from hearing my friends rave about it. I believe the "over-exaggerated black dialect" could be referencing the southern twang and that it isn't necessarily "over-exaggerated" or racist but more an indication of the evolution in how everyone has come to talk in today's day and age and how different in was back then.

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This page contains a single entry by Krissy published on September 25, 2011 3:01 PM.

Traces Still Observed was the previous entry in this blog.

Was "The Help" an accurate portrayal of civil rights in America? is the next entry in this blog.

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