The Great Debaters In reviewing the film “The Great Debaters” I found it to be captivating and the elements of the movie made it very relatable to the viewers. With this being a true story I found that it was very easy for me to understand that these young kids really wanted to find themselves and a voice in the process. I found that this film was an earnest drama about the search for self-esteem and sense of responsibility among young black people that successfully relies and reflects upon its audience. In my opinion, I feel that all young teens who are being raised in an urban environment should watch this movie.
I believe that this film teaches students not to give up because equality and justice is worth fighting for. The events in this film take place in Texas during the 1930s, where racial injustice was an everyday part of life. This is also relevant because the Wiley College, for over 130 years, has served African Americans and other minorities, much as the HBCU’s of our time. During these times the students had to face awful Jim Crow laws and were pushed for the better by their professor to take responsibility for their own future.
This is relevant to today because, though we don’t have Jim Crow laws, racism and stereotypes are very much part of our everyday life. Students today need professors like Professor Tolson to push them with his power of words to be more than what they imagined and to actually make a difference. The audience in my opinion is primarily for African American students who attend an HBCU type college or institution. I say this because this film is focused around young black kids who have to deal with the struggle against racial oppression.
This movie would give an insight to young adults who can relate and have been through the same situations. The Great Debaters gives a really good depiction and staying true to the actual events that occurred. This movie shows that with words, power is given. It teaches kids that they don’t have to result to violence to resolve their problems. The impact of this story was incredibly overwhelming and powerful. This film soars with words and feeling to get a reaction out of its audience. This impact was very real because it shows achievement and shows accomplishments that would inspire another to be like, such as their win against Harvard.
I think that when people watch this movie they will get motivated to join something and be a part of something that will make a difference in their community and for the better. I also believe that if people can see that if the racial injustice didn’t stop these students then they would stop using it as an excuse to do better. A main character in the movie was Denzel Washington who played Melvin Tolson, he was a poet and English professor who led the Wiley College debate team to victory through the Jim Crow South, then across the color line.
He was the kind of educator who had truly recognized the remarkable power of knowledge. Tolson was also the one who recognized that his debate students possessed the spark of a new generation. He was convinced that they could invoke great change if they were given the confidence and tools to do so. James Forest Sr. was the father of student James F. Jr. He also is a renowned scholar and a n important presence in his life, he had not learned how to accept the power of knowledge through assertion because he had seen effects of racism all around him through his life.
The main conflict of this film is that Professor Melvin Tolson puts himself in an increasing danger by acting as a covert labor organizer of local farmers. And at the same time, James Farmer and his family and as well as the entire team were threatened by the lynch mobs. There is also some discrimination when a black man will own a suit or a car then the white people will attack them. The theme of this was that The Great Debaters shows how black realize that Education was the key to their success. These will help them to conquer their own justice as a person.
Black life is all about segregation and discrimination and the audience have to see that black achievement and victory are not easily obtained. Personally I learned that I should join something to make a difference and that what people say are just words, I have to believe in If I could change anyone in the story I would probably choose to change the Lynch mobs, even though they brought light to the movie and had a distinguished role, I would still choose to change them because they are bad people.
They had hurt and killed many black people in the story and in real life. I see and understand the need for the lynch mobs and their symbolism but lynching is not right by any means and heart my heart for something like that to have had happen to those people, knowing that it still happens down south kills me as well. The great Debaters is a revitalizing movie that brings to light events of a true story; this movie brings knowledge to students who can relate to racial un-justice, finding yourself and more.