Remember the segregation?

An all time favorite movie of mine, Remember the Titans is  centered on a football team following the desegregation of a high school in the early 1970s. This movie goes way beyond the action and drama of sports, and explores the issues of racial struggle and companionship between black and white young men.

This movie is so powerful as it parallels the experiences of the white and black football teams, where there is deeply rooted hate and racism, and places the players of both teams in a camp where football is the common thread. They are forced to learn about each other, live and practice together towards the goal of winning a championship title, which in the journey they come to understand and like each other.

The film plot really brings history into perspective after the team returns to the “real world” after the camp is over and they have put their racial prejudices aside, seeing each other as teammates and nothing less. They deal with racial slurs from the sidelines, resentment from their families, and physical altercations with friends of the same race that feel that have been betrayed.

Throughout the course, the majority of our discussions end with a realization of how absurd those who believe in white supremacy are, and Remember the Titans exposes this reality by making the black and white players as similar and relatable as possible. It is a perfect example of the phrase known by MLK: “It is the content of our character not the color of our skin”, and one of the most heartbreaking , yet hopeful chain of events.

Below is a scene where the head coach, Boone, takes the team on a run to teach them a lesson after they first arrive at the camp, most aware of their racial realities. He explains to them that their hatred towards one another due to racial differences will have them end up dead, just as the Battle of Gettysburg did. Boone says:”Take a lesson from the dead”,what I believe to be the most impactful line of the speech. It teaches us that humans are all different; color, shape, size ect. We don’t have to like everyone but we should respect each other at the very least.

This movie is important in making racial strides because although it is about football, they were fighting for a greater cause. This movie exemplifies the brotherhood of white and black men in a very intense way, as they define their masculinity while opening up their eyes to the reality of their worlds.


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