This 1950 jailhouse photo really shows that there is no excuse for retelling the same old stories. Here is the caption:
“Masculine jail clothing was substituted for feminine attire worn by these three youths after they were nabbed early today. They said they had been employed as female… domestic servants in the fashionable Wilshire district. Physical examination by police showed that ‘Tisha Porter’ actually is Queque Malpress, 19; ‘Rita Porter’ is Frank Porter, 21, and ‘Mary Lee Porter’ is Willie Moore, 21 (left to right).”
As writers and readers we must be open to the possibility that human beings have — for the entire course of history- engaged in a wide range of behavior. To be open to possibility is to be open to the humanity of our subjects.
Can you imagine if Aibileen was born Albert? And I am not envisioning The Help as a Madea vehicle. I am thinking about a full on interrogation of race, class, and gender. Let’s take a story that we think we already know and make it into a story that teaches us something.
Yes. This is a novel I want to read.
(source: Standing Up Before Stonewall)