Having descended from former slave owners my understanding of the roots of slavery reaching back to feudal Europe through to Rome, Greece, Egypt, etcetera, is that that social and economic system had generally a less obvious racial basis, and so was more clearly a social class structure. In the America's the 'colour' aspect provided a more easily identified division of ranking in the culture. My sense is that part of what makes 'The Help' so affecting is the inclusion of the intergenerational relationships within the home, as this is something so many can relate to and understand. Social classism is not only in our past it is a part of the economic stratification that continues to divide our populations providing for a majority of 'control' to a minority of peoples. The justifications may have changed somewhat, now we don not so much speak about race and or religion as in our recent past. We have 'homeless', 'wage slaves', subordinates who do as told or lose position, internationally operating sex slave businesses, and worse.'The Help' may have as much to do with the present as the past. I am reminded more of 'A Patch of Blue' and 'The Defiant Ones', than 'The Color Purple', hopefully you understand what I mean, as all three of these films make an addition to one's knowledge and level of inspiration to deal fairly with all, regardless of age, monetary value, level of education, or 'title'.
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