Messages of hope abound in Lee Daniels’ latest powerful feature, “The Butler.” A biography of sorts, the film spotlights the life of Eugene Allen, (aka Cecil Gaines here) a White House steward who served multiple administrations over 30 years. The engaging drama leaves audiences with a visceral representation of the significance of the election of Barack Obama both for Allen and the generation behind him, who fought hard for change during the civil rights era. Because the film also serves to inspire across racial lines, I wish to thank director Lee Daniels for a few things..

  1. “The Butler” reminded me of the importance of family as I watched Cecil’s family and how deeply they affected each other. Thank You Lee Daniels.
  2. “The Butler” reminded me how important it is to serve our country and that said serving can be done in a variety of ways as each member of Cecil’s family did so differently. Thank you Lee Daniels.
  3. “The Butler” made me grateful for the family that came before me, beginning with my grandfather getting on a boat at 16 to come to America from Ireland and work hard for many years as a welder, under sweltering conditions, to provide for greater opportunities for his family for generations to come.  Thank you Lee Daniels.
  4. “The Butler” inspired me to want to do my best to honor the work of my grandfather and parents; for them to know their work was not in vain; for them to know that their work inspires me to make the world a better place, and to use all that I’ve been blessed with to do so. Thank you Lee Daniels.
  5. “The Butler” delivered some powerhouse performances that inspired me to want to move people through enlightening story-telling like never before. If Forest Whitaker and Oprah don’t get Oscars, something is wrong with the voting system! Thank you Lee Daniels.
  6. “The Butler” further reinforced my gratitude for all that I’ve been given and more passion not to waste it. Thank you Lee Daniels..
  7. “The Butler” brought to mind the incredible power of the medium to educate, illuminate and encourage. Thank you Lee Daniels.
  8. I’m incredibly proud of Americans for making “The Butler” #1 at the box office. Thank you Lee Daniels.
In Short, Lee Daniels…thank you for “The Butler,” a film that crosses racial boundaries to not only deliver a history lesson but to awaken us all from our slumber and create some inspiration of our own.