"You make sure they remember, forever, the night they played the Titans!" Of course I will! When Coach Bill Yoast, played by Will Patton, delivered that line I would have run through a wall for him. "Remember The Titans", a sports film and so much more, came out September 29, 2000. Here we are twenty years later talking about this Denzel Washington-led, based-on-a-true-story, movie about so much more than just an integrated 1971 high school football team. It's about black players and white players learning how to trust each other and play together. It's about black coaches and white coaches working together to build a winner. It's about the students at T.C. Williams in suburban Virginia learning about integration and acceptance. The community had lessons to learn as well about the character of the individual, not the color of his or her skin. As you might guess (spoiler alert) lessons are learned, respect is earned, bonds are built, tears are shed and the good guys win.
I'm too young to remember what America was like in 1971. I went to schools that were predominately white and don't remember witnessing acts of racism. Which is not to say they didn't happen. I also was not raised to descriminate. This film gives us a little insight into what it was like for black students to get bused into an all-white school in the suburbs. Acts of racism depicted in the movie by all indications are accurate but certainly more tame than reality. The message I, the viewer, took with me leaving the theatre and to this day still feel after each viewing, is that you can overcome anything with love, respect, acceptance, understanding, a willingness to change and maximum effort. It wouldn't hurt for everyone to watch this movie again today.
"People say that it can’t work, black and white; well here we make it work, everyday. We have our disagreements, of course, but before we reach for hate, always, always, we remember the Titans."