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Welcoming The Help

Air date 08/10/11

A hearing is scheduled next week in a lawsuit filed by a Mississippi woman who claims she was the basis for a maid in Kathryn Stockett's best-selling novel "The Help". The book has been made into a movie that opens in theaters nationwide today. It's based on relationships between white families and their African-American maids in the segregated South of the 1960s. A driving character in the novel is a woman named Aibileen. A real-life woman named Ablene Cooper, who said she worked as a maid for Stockett's brother, claims in the lawsuit that Stockett used her name and likeness without permission.

Even with the lawsuit community members say they welcome what The Help has offered to their town. Sylvester Hoover is the owner of Hoover's Grocery in the historically African American neighborhood of Greenville, called Baptist Town. Once a working class district, now roughly 90 percent of its residents are unemployed. But when the movie "The Help"-- was shot here last year for nine months this poor community reaped economic and social benefits. Hoover is now telling tocal residents it's time to do more.

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