The Great Debaters (2007)

  • Time: 126 min
  • Genre: Biography | Drama
  • Director: Denzel Washington
  • Cast: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Nate Parker


Marshall, Texas, described by James Farmer, Jr. as “the last city to surrender after the Civil War,” is home to Wiley College, where, in 1935-36, inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and his clandestine work as a union organizer, Professor Melvin Tolson coaches the debate team to a nearly-undefeated season that sees the first debate between U.S. students from white and Negro colleges and ends with an invitation to face Harvard University’s national champions. The team of four, which includes a female student and a very young James Farmer, is tested in a crucible heated by Jim Crow, sexism, a lynch mob, an arrest and near riot, a love affair, jealousy, and a national radio audience.

One comment

  • Directed by one of the celebrity’s African-American star movies (Denzel Washington), “The great Debaters” which based on a true story is amazing and educational film in my opinion. It really was a warm hearted, touching movie that truly came from the heart. I felt as though it was really meant to show people what life is sometimes all about. Even though there are some sad parts, it’s all about history and I strongly recommend it to the new generation. The story was strong enough to show how was difficult for black in general to face the practice of segregation in their live and particularly in college. All of the actors in the movie were perfect and played out each role with heart and with soul. Denzel Washington, Nate Parker, Denzel Whitaker and Forrest Whitaker were all superb. The younger Whitaker is very talented. I really enjoyed this movie and I highly recommend it!

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