Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans was a 2000 production by Jerry Bruckheimer. This sports film was directed by Boaz Yakin and it was based on a Gregory Allen Howard screenplay. The films story is based on a racial theme in a set up of the 70s. In 1971 The Supreme Court gave a ruling which was meant to end the segregation imposed by the state in public schools. This happened in the background of Americas engagement in the Vietnam War. At the time Pentagon papers publication in the New York Times was underway and Richard Nixon was the president. There were rampant protests by students in the period.
The movie starts at a time when T.C. Williams High School has undergone integration in Alexandria. This was as a result of the federal directive which was meant to enhance integration within schools. However, the positive steps seem to elicit more trouble in terms of racial discrimination. The controversy within the film starts Boone-a black coach-is hired to train the Titans (the schools football team). Boone replaces Bill Yoast-the former coach of the football team. Boone had initially been hired to coach the black school and Yoast had been the coach of the white school (Jerry, n.pag). However, with integration the job goes to Boone, who replaces the very successful Yoast (the white coach).
Boones football team consists of both black and white players and the racial differences lead to struggles and confrontations based on racial differences. Boone offers Yoast the position of an assistant coach, but he declines-probably due to the feeling of being demeaned as an assistant to a black man (Jerry, n.pag). However, he later takes up the position after the white players of the team plan to boycott the teams activities if Yoast does not participate in the teams activities. Yoast bows to the pressure because he fears that the students may lose their scholarships which are offered to well performing sports students. Throughout the training session in the football camp the white and black team members often clash because of racially motivated conflicts, and the movie is a clear indicator of how racism was a big issue in this era. The team manages to finally overcome the racial based team conflicts and it finally emerges victorious in most of the matches that it participates in.
The team survives racial prejudice due to its constitution and finally manages to go through the season without any defeats, and finally the community also comes to appreciate the team after witnessing its success. Some members of the school board want Boone to be fired because of his race. This racial prejudice is portrayed by remarks made by white members of the board. Boone is threatened that if any match is lost by the team he would be sacked. However, this does not happen and his team is able to successfully go through the season with clean success despite the poor refereeing witnessed in the movie (Jerry, n.pag). Boone threatens the officials of the game that he will expose the scandal to the press if poor officiating of the game does not stop. Titans finally emerge as the state champions and Boone is not inducted into the hall of fame, largely because of racial prejudice despite the fact that his actions were necessary.
The movie shows the clear racial struggles that existed in the 70s era and blacks were the most victimized at the time by the white majority. The integration was done in good faith, but it also led to the emergence of extremities in racial prejudice and increased out right cases of racism. A comparison of the time to the present day state shows that actually the integration mandated by the federal decree issued by the Supreme Court has finally yielded some positive results in the nation. Integrated schools in the present day America are better, because students from different races are able to coexist harmoniously than in the earlier days of integration portrayed within the movie. The movie elicits a bad feeling in anyone that does not have racial inclinations and it is like a call to all people with racial inclinations of prejudice to value oneness and respect of other minority races in America.
The movie shows that despite the racial differences people can work together to achieve great things in life if unity is fostered amongst people. It also shows the importance of teamwork and cooperation. The team eventually turned out to be an example of a unifying symbol for the suburban Virginia communities highlighted in the movie. The segregation of schools in the era portrayed was actually a very negative thing in education because it failed to expose students to diversity within their community and as such it served to further the racism that was already evident within society. The federal decree on integration was actually a sign of the true American spirit fostered by our founding fathers-a spirit of oneness, equality and justice-and the struggle has been worth it because now we can witness a free America that is less racial in most of its institutions.
Jerry, Bruckheimer. Remember the Titans, 2000. Movie
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