Racism has been a part of the African American history since we became an independent country. The Great Debaters starring Denzel Washington is an award winning film and based on a true story. In this film they talk about how the Wiley college debaters overcome some of the negativity and differences. The students had to deal with a lot of negativity from their opponents at all times. The Great Debaters was not only a film on how the college’s triumphs, but the art of debates was to teach us about the adversity and racial inequalities. This film had a lot of emotion from both the debaters themselves and their professor.
Samantha Booke is the first female to make the Wiley debate team. She had to work hard and prove herself worth. One of the debates was talking about how Negroes should be attending a separate university. Samantha Booke stated in that specific debate “as long as schools are segregated, Negroes will receive an education both separate and unequal.” Her statement is both emotional and true in that era. During the 1930’s (also known as the Jim Crow era) the blacks and whites had to attend different colleges and receive different teaching styles.
Wiley college is an all-black school in Texas. These students in this movie is unlike most African American students they fight with their words instead of their fist. First the students competed with schools in Texas. Once they earned the privilege of becoming just about undefeated they went against one of the top schools Harvard. Harvard had won league championship on multiple occasions.
On their journey to Harvard, Wiley experienced many different challenges. The students used a personal anecdote to evoke emotion from the judges and audience members. Other uses of rhetoric was when the used humor in some of their speaking points to get a reaction out of the audience.