Cause and Effect Paper on the Great Debaters Movie

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Ambere Brockman
African American Experience in Global Context

In the inspirational film The Great Debaters, Denzel Washington played a college professor, who established a debate team. The team consisted of four African American students all who studied at Wiley College, where Tolson worked. Professor Tolson’s role in the film was significant and he made a positive impact on each characters life in the film. Of all characters the bond between Ms. Samantha Booke, one of the debaters resonated with me. Professor Tolson did many things to change lives’. Being that his attitude was positive and urged the importance of the power of words, being book smart and colored. He created an unstoppable debate team throughout the film you watch the teams trials and tribulations.

Tolsons’ character was significant because he pushed everyone in the film for the better. His character was controversial because he had different political views from the social mores of the times. He challenged the Jim Crow laws and wanted to help the farmers secretly to become in the union. He wasn’t always praised for being a confederate in the film. Tolsons personality was strong and he strived for his students to be extremely intelligent being that they were colored. He motivated all students and didn’t let the Jim Crow Laws stop him from learning, or alter his success of himself and his students. He made sure his team debated the social mores of the times as well. Being African American speaking about our own kind.

In The Great Debaters, the team as a whole debated against other colleges, which were white schools. He taught the students the power of words and trained them, making them able to debate against any team in the country. Their first invitation to debate against a prestige school, Oklahoma City University, Ms. Samantha Booke was given her time to prosper during an actual debate. Samantha Booke was chosen by Tolson and was the first African American woman ever on a...
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