The movie “Remember the Titans” is a movie about victory over racial disparity. The essay shows that the formula used by the coaches and football team in this movie can be used to bridge other seemingly insurmountable gaps. It all starts with communication one to one.
Introduction In “Remember the Titans”, high school football players overcome racial diversity. Based on real events, Titans takes place in 1971, when T.C. Williams high school in Alexandria, VA is desegregated. (Movie Habit. (n.d.) The team and coaches work together to create a winning football team and end up with a formula that reduced the racial tension in the entire community. The formula they used to overcome racial tension can be used as an example to overcome other group conflicts. The formula is building one to one relationships, plus building group to group relationships, equals a new and better group or community.
Building One to One Relationships
Herman Boone has been hired as a black head coach by the newly integrated T.C. Williams High School. Boone’s hiring is greeted with hostility by the white coaching staff, players, and the community and is a personal insult to existing head coach Bill Yoast. The first one to one relationship begins when Boone offers Yoast, an assistant coaching position. Yoast and Boone build a one to one relationship and urge the players to do the same. The coaches take their players to training camp where Boone requires white and black players to spend time together and even interview each other to learn about each other. Racial strife disappears as the players spend time together at camp. Gerry, the white quarterback, and Julius, a black player, form a one to one relationship that leads to players actually liking each other and working together as a group.
Building Group to Group Relationships
The players began to trust each other and so do Boone and Troast. The director gives the audience a glimpse of scenes of their family and home life to show that these two men are very much alike. They both are family oriented, community oriented, and want to win football games. The team members also recognize the similarities between the coaches and this inspires them to become a better team. The team returns to school after camp to face open opposition and hostility. They take the lead in setting an example to fellow students by letting classmates see that they have forged new friendships across racial boundaries. Coach Boone sums it up in a pep talk before a game, “I’m not gonna talk to you tonight about winnin’ and losin’. You’re already winners ’cause you didn’t kill each other up at camp.” (Memorable quotes. (n.d.) The Titans kick off their season with a win, and continued victories eventually change community racial tension. The Titans and the community of Alexandria evolve into a better group supportive of each other.
A New and Better Group
The team makes it to the State championship and the City of Alexandria follows the example of the Titans. The community realizes that Whites and Blacks have common dreams and ambitions, and working together can make these dreams a reality. During the excitement over the championship, a tragic accident injures a team star player. This shared pain inspires the team and residents of Alexandria to put aside racial resentment and merge into an even tighter community. Alexandria becomes a united community with common goals and achievements.
The Southern United States was still racially divided in the ‘70’s when this true story took place. This film “Remember the Titans” shows how racial division in the past was overcome. Henry Ford said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” (Holden Leadership Center. (n.d.)) The Titans are an example of that quote. They came together one to one to build a winning team. There actions provide us with a formula for bridging other conflicts, both at a community level and a personal level. By building one to one relationships, plus building group to group relationships, we will have new and better groups and relationships.
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