Remember the Titians
Scott W. Manchester
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Remember the Titians was set during a racially charged time in Virginian history This movie is one of those rare films that successfully brings together several issues of life, sexuality, racism and struggle with the will to succeed. The movie begins in July 1971 amid racial tensions at T .C Williams High School. It is the first time black students are allowed an education in a white institution. The Caucasian head Coach Bill Yoast is replaced by African American Coach Herman Boone; was to assume an assistant position reporting to Yoast. Remember the Titans was set in a cultural environment that refused to accept the idea of racial equality and how one colored man, coach Herman Boone, changed this. His arrival into town with his wife and daughter, and his appearance in Virginia High School to coach the Titans football team was met with much disapproval by the white community and to the contrary support and agreement of the black community. It is here we see the cultural divergence of two vastly different communities. This is the first time we see Coach Boone's skills as a mediator. He delegates the defensive coordinator position to coach Yoast citing that he needs him to be there. He requires his presence to help smooth the transition for the players. At first coach Boone is quite an imposing figure. He exemplifies the persona of a pace setting leader. He expects everyone, his assistants, and his players to fall in line and do exactly what he demands of them. He has the drive and the ambition to succeed. He also has the knowledge and the experience to execute. Coach Boone prepared the combined team of white and black players at summer football camp. There, he stretched the physical limits of the players, who suffered together. In one of the Remember the Titans Titans: 3
scenes, Coach Boone led his exhausted team to a field where the Gettysburg battle took place, where the blood of countless Americans was spilled. The black and the white players came to the realization that their distaste could be set aside and they could put their trust on one another, regardless of color. Only then were they able to efficiently function as a team, eventually becoming the undefeated state champions of their time. From the personal convictions on racial equality and the standards by which coach Boone lived, he was able to influence each and every staff and player on his team. Their standpoint on discrimination greatly changed and this attitude was passed on to the Virginia public itself, who admired and applauded the efforts and triumphs of this colored man and his undefeated football team. Both Coach Boone and coach Yoast use the path goal model of leadership. Coach Boone leverages a combination of achievement oriented and instrumental or directive leadership, while coach Yoast demonstrates a supportive style of leadership. Of the four path-goal theory leadership styles, it is not uncommon for leaders to use a mixture of more than one or all four. The nature of contingency leadership means that one or more of the different styles might be utilized to achieve goals in a path like manner. According to (Butler 2008) such a mixture is often the norm in the path goal model of leadership, “These styles are not mutually exclusive; in fact, the same leader can adopt them at different times and in different situations” (Butler 2008). Coach Boone uses a combination of leadership styles. Boone is very directive in leadership style with respect to motivating his players and coaches to achieve goals. He provides specific guidance and establishing clear and rigorous schedules and rules. In one scene we see this
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instrumental style of leadership combined with the achievement oriented style when...