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Like Family: 1951

Like Family: 1951

1951, somewhere in the Southeast. "Negro maids and their white employers' babies." Photo by John Vachon for a Look magazine assignment on "The South" in what could have been a prologue to "The Help." View full size.

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Mississippi 1957

My mother has a picture of a friend's 4th birthday party. All the white kids are sitting in their party dresses in a row with their black nurses in uniforms directly behind them. I found it interesting that the nurses were included in the picture, I doubt they got cake and ice cream.

The Help

This scene is right out of a page from Kathryn Stockett's novel, The Help.

To Savannah

Yes, my father--who grew up in the deep South--always considered it deeply ironic that our racist relatives didn't mind having their food prepared by black cooks, their babies kissed by black nannies, and their beds made by black maids but recoiled in horror at the idea of sharing a doorway or a water fountain with these same people. I would give a lot to know what happened to the four people in the above photo in later years.

Juxtaposition

With the rampant racism existing in the country at the time of this picture, it's amazing that parents gave their babies over to be cared for by black workers. There's something so ironic about that.

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