As we stand on this cliff of time and look back at our ancestors we have no idea what they went through. We think we know more than them because we have the benefit of knowing what happened to them, but we don’t really know.
We only know what they showed us. I doubt it can be a true representation of their experience. I think it was more of a code. It was a way of telling a story one way, but meaning something else. Like, she has a smile on her face, but what story does that smile really tell?
Women like Hattie McDaniel made the case for strong women characters who tell others what to do. She portrayed Mammy in Gone With the Wind, a role that won her an Academy Award for best supporting actress. Mammy is a slave who runs the house at a large plantation.
I wonder why she chose to play Mammy the way she did? Writers can write good things, but the actors portrayal is everything. I wonder what message was she sending us with her performance?
This weekend in the podcast, I reposted episode Are You Living Single or Designing Women? Both shows tell stories about women that will make you laugh or cry. They have strong female characters that embody attributes that I admire.
These women run the house. They run their own house. They run their own business. Like McDaniel, they challenge what we believe about our society and ourselves.