The Great Debaters How James Farmer Jr. Deals with Oppression

Topics: Debate, Debating, The Great Debaters Pages: 1 (320 words) Published: April 14, 2013
The Great DebatersEric Ashlee
In the movie “The Great Debaters” we are shown a community of African Americans being segregated and oppressed, and the way they deal with this differs between individual, for example James farmer Jr. is a young 14 year old boy who is oppressed due to his age and his pigment and throughout the movie we are shown how he effectively deals with this oppression. James Farmer Jr. wants to prove himself to his coach, his team, and his family. He feels he is not being treated equally because of his age, thus he works hard to be recognized. James Farmer Jr.’s father is very strict and controlling of James. “When I tell you to do something you do it” is a line that shows the power James Farmer Sr. has over his son and how James Farmer Jr. is even oppressed by his own father. One of the earlier scenes in the film depicted his father, James Farmer Sr., a man with a PHD, being threatened by white farmers because he accidently killed their pig. James Jr. wanted to stand up for his father, but could not. This goes to show you, that even a prestigious black man in this time can be killed by a couple of rednecks and nothing would have happened to them. James Farmer wants all of this to change especially after him and his debate team witnessed an incident in which a lynching mob killed a black man. James Jr. deals with oppression through communication and persuasion, he is a strong debater and he uses those skills to push forward on the fight to equality. He may have started off as an alternative on the debate team, but later on in the film, he holds his own in the final debate against Harvard University. And he shows us how he effectively deals with the oppression that he faces.
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