Editor’s Update: It was from watching the 2013 film, The Butler, that I first began to ponder who our modern heroes are. Shortly afterwards, I began this website. At that time, it was a curating blog, called Aware & Fair. The Butler movie review was one of the first posts I wrote. One thing I learned, from running the blog, is that there are many, many dedicated people and groups who are fighting for democracy and justice. The Progressive Movement has taken off since then. Well-known and everyday heroes are everywhere. ~ J.C. January 21, 2019
“The Butler” is a story about the life and career of Cecil Gaines, African-American White House butler. He served through eight presidencies, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. You see a whole chunk of American history through his eyes: the Civil Rights Movement, the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, and more.
The Butler is also about a father-son relationship. The riff between them is unbearably stretched when the son joins the Black Panthers.
Then, there are the revealing views of well-known personalities sprinkled throughout the movie. You see presidents, first ladies, Martin Luther King Jr., little Caroline Kennedy – close up.
The Butler is a truly great film. Because of the brilliant script, all-star cast, and insightful direction, the story unfolds with simplicity and elegance. It’s understated, yet incredibly deep, rich and full.
Personally, The Butler didn’t make me tear up. I actually sobbed. In the end, I realized the movie was about heroes, the famous ones and the ones we never heard about.
The Real Man Behind the Story
The Butler is based on the true story of Eugene Allen, an African-American butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986. His story first came to light in the 2008 Washington Post article A Butler Well Served By This Election, written by Wil Haygood.
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