Ever since the movie, The Great Debaters, was released, we’ve wanted to see it. We finally got a chance to watch it on DVD this past week. And we’re glad we did.
“The Great Debaters” is about a debate team from Wiley College, an historically African-American United Methodist college, located in Marshall, Texas. The college was founded eight years after the end of the Civil War (1873). The movie is set in 1935.
Wiley College debated larger African-American schools and, when possible, white colleges and universities, and ultimately won the national championship. It’s an inspirational story from a painful time in American history.
For more on the movie, check out the movie review from UMC.org. See also Denzel Washington’s video message to United Methodists. Denzel Washington plays Melvin B. Tolson, a professor and coach of the debate team. See also this list of news stories at UMC.org.
Let us know if you’ve seen the movie and what you thought about it. If you rent the DVD, be sure to check out the bonus feature that tells the true story behind the movie; it includes interviews of people connected to the story.
We thought the courage and determination shown by the characters (and the real-life people behind the story) was very inspiring!