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On The Help and Abilene Cooper

I have seen this article all over Facebook again and I thought I would give my two cents.

The original case was thrown out based on the time it took for the woman to make her claim (the author gave her a book with a note that said she named her main character Abilene, but that it was based on the woman who raised her, a maid by the name of Demetrie McLorn). Now, Abilene Cooper did ask, back in 2011, for a judge to look at the case again, but nothing came of it. So, then, my question is why did the second time around come to naught? What was the life of Demetrie McLorn like? She may have had a similar story. Many women at the time did. The question then is whether Abilene Cooper presented the proof needed (the burden of proof is on her when she files, I believe). The article states some facts and I know Abilene Cooper feels that she was wronged, but stating that a name, the death of her son, and the fact that she took care of a young boy and girl at the time really isn’t enough because those things are fairly common. It may be totally justified and she simply didn’t present as much proof as the courts required or it could be that it was proven that the character really was based on Demetrie McLorn. Unfortunately, the various articles I’ve read didn’t say one way or the other about the second go around.
Also, Abilene Cooper said that the author was cruel about the main character, but she came across as a loving, kind, and gentle woman with a backbone of steel and a sense of humor in both the book and the movie. She really came off as a much better person than many of the people in the book and as less of a hypocrite. I didn’t see it as a book written to “make white people feel better” as Abilene Cooper claimed. It was a book written about a time of our history where serious change was needed and was happening in a rapid, and often violent way. It shows the danger for people who stood for that change, black and white, as well as the hypocrisy of the system that was in place at the time. Thankfully, it’s a system that is still continuing to change and many people of every race and creed in this country are working towards that. I thought the book in general was a beautiful tribute to the everyday people who started the change that is still in motion now. It’s also apropos for today because it points out both how far we’ve come and how far we’ve still got to go.

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