MEET the Help: True Stories of Domestics
by by Rhonda Bellamy & Bertha Boykin Todd
Excerpts from MEET the Help An Anthology of True Stories
"My last experience as a maid came in the late 1960s. I accompanied an attorney, his wife and two sons on their weeklong summer vacation at Pawleys Island. Until then the furthest I had traveled was to visit cousins in Columbia, 45 miles away. The closest I had come to a beach was a pond in a park reserved for blacks. My duties at the couples beachfront cottage were to take their two sons swimming. We had changed into our swimsuits and headed into the water when my employer summoned me out of the water and told me that he had received several complaints about the colored girl in the bathing suit using the beach. I was made to go back to the house, put on shorts and a shirt, and stand on the shore as the two boys in my charge frolicked in the nearby surf."
-from Mama Always Said by Dr. Janie Canty-Mitchell as told to Rhonda Bellamy
My favorite story that is forever etched in my memory is funny now but, at the time, was not funny at all. Ida Lee was traveling with us and we were driving to Wrightsville Beach to visit our grandparents. That morning, Mother and Ida Lee were busy packing our station wagon with clothes, toys, baby carriages, etc. for the trip. Our station wagon was loaded with all the stuff ; children, Ida Lee, and Mom. Mother began driving. This was the era before car seats for babies and seat belts. Ida lee looked around and then looked at my mother. She exclaimed, Where is the baby?
(2013, Paperback, 122 pages)