The White Savior Trope, Explained

Why do so many stories about racism revolve around the White Savior? In 2020, as the Movement for Black Lives grew in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, The Help experienced a resurgence in popularity, becoming one of the most-streamed movies on Netflix. The 2011 film about a white woman confronting racism may be well-intentioned, but—like Green Book, The Blind Side, and other White Savior movies before it—The Help centers its story on benevolent white characters, rather than on firsthand black perspectives. How did this trope become so persistent? Here’s The Take on the dangers of the White Savior, and how we can change our own narratives and conversations to become more anti-racist ourselves.

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