As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.
Cecil Gaines was a sharecropper's son who grew up in the 1920s as a domestic servant for the white family who casually destroyed his. Eventually striking out on his own, Cecil becomes a hotel valet of such efficiency and discreteness in the 1950s that he becomes a butler in the White House itself. There, Cecil would serve numerous US Presidents over the decades as a passive witness of history with the American Civil Rights Movement gaining momentum even as his family has troubles of its own. As his wife, Gloria, struggles with her addictions and his defiant eldest son, Louis, strives for a just world, Cecil must decide whether he should take action in his own way.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am an educator and the theme in the "Butler" is another piece of history which should be edified and enjoyed by everyone, especially the next generation. Most of the respondents so far seem to have lost sight of the fact that our American history must constantly be told and retold since the contributions and sacrifices of many minorities have previously been distorted or omitted. An appreciation of the cause and affect of historical events is always empowering and it should teach us all to be more tolerant and understanding of others in the future. A good analogy is that as an African American child growing up in the 1950's Charles and I always rooted for the cowboys in the movies to defeat those "savages" known as Indians. In truth, Native Americans were forced from their land, their families separated, many killed and placed on reservations where some remain today living in poverty. Does this sound anything like Nazi Germany? When we see the "Butler" we should all say "wow" I never knew that; I hope our young people understand that becoming and maintaining a great Nation and living in a democracy requires sacrifice and hard work constantly. Remember, "Those who have no knowledge of history, are destined to repeat it." Not my words.
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