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The Great Debaters: Loved it, but they debated USC not Harvard

I loved “The Great Debaters”!  I saw it on Sunday and I think it’s something that the African American community should be excited about.  It’s a must see, especially for young people.  Take your children.  Take your family.  Discuss, discuss, discuss.  We need more movies like “The Great Debaters”!  Kudos to Oprah and Denzel…and all the actors too.  Especially that young man that played Mr. Lowe…good grief he is fine.  Denzel, you’re fine but you’re getting old.  Pass the torch to that young man, please.  Give him your mantle…your anointing…I think he can manage it.  LOL

My only issue with the movie was that Wiley College didn’t debate Harvard…they debated USC.  I heard this from a friend and went online to research…lots of people are buzzing about it…especially black news sites.

As part of their tour, Wiley College’s debate team defeated the reigning champions—not Harvard as in the movie, but the University of Southern California’s team—on the USC campus in Bovard auditorium. Denzel Washington is quoted in the Harvard Crimson as explaining that the site of the debate in the film was moved from USC to Harvard “because Harvard is the gold standard.”

In addition, according to the New York Times the “film omits one reality: even though they beat the reigning champions, the Great Debaters were not allowed to call themselves victors because they were not truly considered to belong to the debate society; blacks were not admitted until after World War II. The movie also explores the social milieu of the American South during the Great Depression including not only the day to day insults and slights African Americans had to endure, but also a lynching. James L. Farmer, Jr. , who was on Wileys’ debate team at 14 years old after completing high school (and who would later go on to co-found the Congress of Racial Equality) is also depicted. According to the Houston Chronicle, another character depicted on the team, Samantha Booke, is based on the real individual Henrietta Bell, “the only female member of the 1930 debate team from Wiley College who participated in the first collegiate interracial debate in the United States.” Also, according to the Marshall News Messenger, “there is no evidence that a debate with Harvard ever happened…. the debate Bell remembers was probably with Oxford University of England.” – Wikipedia

Reading the Wiki entry I found out that Denzel is giving Wiley College 1 million dollars so they can re-establish their debate team.  Awww, fine and a nice guy too!  That Denzel…so sexy.

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