In the movie Remember the Titans, written by Gregory Allen Howard, the audience is taken back to the 1970’s where racism was abundant in United States culture. At T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, football was a significant part of the town. But when their school board was forced to integrate an all white school with an all black school, the town was put to the ultimate test; give up a special hometown tradition, or break the racial stereotypes that society has expected of them. The stereotypes throughout this movie, communicates that black and white people are supposed to hate each other in this point in history. Although these stereotypes were forced upon the athletes from their town, they were still able to see past skin color and become a successful team and in some cases best friends.
Herman Boone, a black head coach, was hired to coach the school’s first integrated football team. Controversy was created throughout the town when this decision was made simply because Coach Boone was a black man and he was appointed the head coach position over Bill Yoast, a white man, who then became the assistant coach. The fact a black man held a leadership role in their town was unheard of and had many people mistreating him and his family. Although coach Boone was hated by the town for getting the coaching job, he had a worse situation to deal with. Coach Boone may have gotten the coaching job, but he didn’t have a “team” yet. All he had was a group of talented athletes who were consumed with racism and didn’t know how to play together.
To begin solving this problem Coach Boone took his team to a football camp at Gettysburg College. When the team first got onto the bus the team had all white players in one bus and all black players in the other. Coach Boone immediatly trying to unite the team had everyone evacuate the buses and then grouped all his defensive players in one bus as well as all of his offensive players in another bus. This was Coach Boone’s first step in developing a unified team. One night in the cafeteria, as he was still trying to unify the team, Coach Boone asked one of the white players to share some thoughts about his black teammates. After that, he was looking for volunteers to share some thoughts, but all of them refused. As a result, Coach Boone made everybody spend time with a teammate of a different race in order for them to learn about their home lives and family.
The players might not be aware of it, but this is when their views of their teammates begin to change and they are becoming aware that the racial tension will not help them win games. This is when these stereotypes that were placed on them by their town began to crumble. The next morning, Coach Boone brought his entire team to the Gettysburg Cemetery. This was one of the most significant parts of the movie. Coach Boone began to tell them about the thousands of men who died in that battle during the civil war. He continued stating ‘They were fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don’t come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were.” In this moment, Coach Boone emphasized the importance of the boys overcoming the stereotypes. By the end of the training camp, they became a unified team who started respecting each other and especially Coach Boone.
When camp was finally over and the team went back to school, the appreciation they had for eachother did not dissapear. The players became examples for their school by showing that you can overcome racism. Coach Boone sculpted a team of leaders not only on the field but also in the classroom and to the whole town. This team played a great role in bonding blacks and whites in the society.
Remember the Titans really illluminated the idea that breaking a stereotype can and will happen. The stereotype that black and white people have to hate eachother is so significant in this movie because its proven that it doesnt have to be true even when segregation was a huge part of the US culture. Although racism today is nothing like how it was during the 70’s it still happens. But for the most part the stereotype has been broken throughout society, and it is no longer forced upon black and white people today.
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