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3 items from 2011

Black Women Historians come out against 'The Help'

11 August 2011 6:35 PM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent - Inside Movies news »

The Association of Black Women Historians released a statement today, urging fans of both the best-selling novel and the new movie The Help to reconsider the popular tale of African American maids in 1960s Jackson, Miss., who risk sharing their experiences with a young white journalist. “Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers,” the statement read.

The group of scholars took issue with novelist Kathryn Stockett’s use of “black” dialect, her nearly uniform portrayal of black men as cruel or absent, »

- Karen Valby

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Interviews: ‘The Help’ Director Tate Taylor, Star Octavia Spencer

9 August 2011 6:40 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – The search for the right actress to portray the pivotal role of Minny in the new film “The Help” ended with Octavia Spencer. The veteran performer was key in expressing the particulars of the character, which was enhanced by director Tate Taylor.

Both Spencer and Tate were in town recently to promote The Help, each expressing their path to the film. Octavia Spencer has been working since the 1990s, best known for playing Constance Grady on the TV series “Ugly Betty.” Tate Taylor is also an actor, and had previously directed only one other feature (”Pretty Ugly People”) before landing the job of adapting Kathryn Stockett’s bestselling novel into a screenplay, and then directing the stellar cast.

Jessica Chastain as Celia and Octavia Spencer as Minny in ‘The Help

Photo credit: ‘Uncle Dale’ Robinette for DreamWorks Pictures

HollywoodChicago talked to Octavia Spencer and Tate Taylor together, and each »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Bhm: Wives of Iconic Black Leaders

7 February 2011 9:05 AM, PST | Essence | See recent Essence news »

Wives of Iconic Black LeadersBehind Every Great Man......There is a great woman. These are women who have sometimes sacrificed their personal ambitions not only for their husbands, but for the greater good of us all. As we celebrate Black History Month, we take a look at the women behind some of our most iconic leaders, from Coretta Scott King to Michelle Obama.Betty ShabazzAlso known as Betty X, Betty Shabazz was married to prominent civil rights activist Malcolm X. The two met at a dinner party and Betty was instantly impressed with her future husband. They had six daughters together -- Attallah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malikah and Malaak.Betty Shabazzfter her husband's assassination in 1965, Shabazz made a life-changing pilgrimage to Mecca. She earned her doctorate in 1975 and became an associate professor of health sciences at Medgar Evers College in 1976. Throughout her life, Shabazz was an active volunteer with the »

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