The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
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    Essay Winner – Week 7!

    Ignite Boldness

    By Elizabeth Pappas 

    The women in The Help are bold.   The author, Kathryn Stockett, captures how a group of southern women step out of their comfort zones, tell their stories and illuminate their lives.  The black women divulge vignettes of life working in white households as maids. Their stories reveal perspectives that were squashed during the 1960’s in the South.  Jim Crow laws forced the help to live separate lives from the white families with separate bathrooms, separate tables, separate schools, separate and unequal.   Yet those same, separate hands did intimate acts.  They gave flavor to white peoples’ meals, changed diaper after diaper, polished silver, wiped the brows of sick men and women, scrubbed grout, braided hair, cleaned scrapes, they prayed.


    The book, The Help, is not the story of Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evans, Malcom X or Rosa Parks.  Sure, their essence lifts up the people in the book, but the visionaries in The Help are the women who work as maids.  Twelve maids unite with the glue of a young, white woman who scribes their stories and gets their truths published. The stories embody humorous secret ingredients, tender child rearing moments, bold, loving actions for friends.  The stories are turning points toward advocacy and human rights. The white woman realizes that silence is agreement and feels discord because of the racism brewing in her community.  Her writing expresses her search for equity and dignity.  She finds something to believe in, something that brings out the best in her and the help.  


    These risk takers inspire me to ignite my boldness, over come fears and tell stories.  Everyday woman telling stories build up momentum and create positive change for humanity.  I am inspired to scan the world for small acts of kindness.  This book teaches me that bravery and small moments are the tipping points that help us live with meaning.

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    5 Responses to “Essay Winner – Week 7!”

    1. Dan says:

      Great essay! Certainly deserving of the honor, Ms. Pappas.

    2. Shelby says:

      That was fabulous! I’m so proud to call you my friend. Congratulations bold lady.
      :) Shelby

    3. Bo Welt says:

      Well said my beautiful, bold traveling companion!
      As you now know and have learned so well… that, it is through the act of boldness, courage is granted it’s wings to take flight!
      I am so proud of you Mis Lizzy!!
      So, when are you going to write that book???

      Sisterhood of the traveling black bag

    4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society says:

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