The Max Reddick Experience

‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ and the History of Black Work at the White House

by Jamilah King
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” hits theaters nationwide today. The film is based on the true story of Eugene Allen, an African-American butler who served eight different presidents over the course of a 34-year career. Allen’s story is one of servitude set against the backdrop of years of political change, and it represents the unique view that black service workers have had at the White House since its construction. In the book “The Black History of the White House,” American University history professor Clarence Lusane outlines some of this story. From the hundreds of black enslaved workers who helped build the White House to the countless others who have toiled over the years in its back rooms and kitchens, Lusane lifts up the veil on decades of untold history. I spoke to Lusane about why this moment is an important one.  [Continue reading at Colorlines.]

‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ and the History of Black Work at the White House

by Jamilah King

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” hits theaters nationwide today. The film is based on the true story of Eugene Allen, an African-American butler who served eight different presidents over the course of a 34-year career. Allen’s story is one of servitude set against the backdrop of years of political change, and it represents the unique view that black service workers have had at the White House since its construction. In the book “The Black History of the White House,” American University history professor Clarence Lusane outlines some of this story. From the hundreds of black enslaved workers who helped build the White House to the countless others who have toiled over the years in its back rooms and kitchens, Lusane lifts up the veil on decades of untold history. I spoke to Lusane about why this moment is an important one.  [Continue reading at Colorlines.]

Notes

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