Your Real Stories Productions formed in 2011, as the brainchild of an eclectic group of individuals committed to talking across difference. Our goal is to encourage people to talk and listen to one another, despite different backgrounds and opinions. We began in June 2011 with the launch of yourrealstories.org, a story sharing website. When the movie version of “The Help” was released in August 2011, we decided to seize the opportunity to invite people to share their own real stories about Days’ work, the limited job opportunities available to black people, and how their own families had been affected.
We gathered over 40 brief interviews as people were leaving the opening night showing of The Help, and followed up by asking some of those people to sit for longer interviews.
We were graciously invited into each one of their homes and have collected hours of recorded interviews. We selected portions of each of their stories and transcribed them before passing them on to the actors.
We would like to thank everyone for saying yes to helping us with this project, and a very special thanks to The Crew at Studio 620, where the answer is always YES.
Sincere and warm regards,
Lillian and Jaye
I lied to my white friends about what my mother did for a living.
I didn’t tell them that she left home in early morning darkness and retuned tired at night. I didn’t say that she had to take at least one train and two buses just to get to her job in the next city. I didn’t describe how she worked cleaning the houses of people who were not nearly as well educated as she was.
The kicker is that Momma made that trip every day for years–for me. And I was ashamed of her.
My mother did ‘day work’. She was real ‘domestic help’ to wealthy white families, who barely knew her. So, when the book, “The Help,” appeared last year, I considered reading it. And, although Momma died twenty-three years ago, last year was still too soon for me to dive into a novel written by a young white woman about a time when race trumped everything. Now, after seeing the movie, “The Help,” I’m sure that I made the right decision.
I liked the movie because it raises awareness about the lives of domestic workers—then and now. Now, it’s time for the real stories to be told and heard. I hope you will share your stories or your comments. This story has been a long time coming and I know we’ll all learn something about ourselves if we can just keep talking.
Reverend Elder Troy Perry is the founder of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, the first church to minister to the needs of LGBT and straight people around the world. He is author of several books, including “The Lord Is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay.” As a leading human rights activist, he has been honored by the American Civil Liberties Union and invited to the White House by three different U.S. Presidents.
He spoke with us in St. Pete Florida, since he is being honored as the Grand Marshall of the St. Pete Pride Festival and Promenade.
Stories produced by Jaye Sheldon; original music composed and performed by Peter Suarez
Troy Perry’s story about meeting Lady Gaga.
I have had the pleasure of interviewing many fascinating people in anticipation of the launch of this story sharing website. The stories you see today are only a few of the stories we have to share. It is our hope that these stories will inspire you to share your own. We will be continuing to add more of our story projects to the website as we eagerly anticipate hearing from you. Thanks for sharing! – Jaye
First, a short explanation. A group of friends have been twisting my arm to help them set up a website for story sharing. I hope you enjoy the results! Here, we invite you to listen to, watch, and read stories, then comment and share stories of your own. Don’t be shy! Tell us what you think. We’re on the way to creating a radio show featuring your real stories, so your feedback is important to us.
Bookmark yourrealstories.org and share us with your Facebook friends. Watch us evolve and add content that reflects all the richness, variety, and complexity that is YOU.