In the film Remember the Titans directed by Yakin Boaz we embark on the journey of an American Football team who now has to integrate an all white school with an all black school. This was the kick off to an epic journey of surpassing society’s doubts of how interaccial friendships can’t be maintained due to the many differences each race shares. We are shown of how meeting people can impact our lives and change our perspective on how we perceive each other when we were first introduced to Gerry Bertier and Julius Campbell.
We see how meeting different people changes our perspective was when the pair lay out their cards on the table and express their honest opinion on each other. When they looked at each other it was with revulsion and fear. Gerry tells Julius “See man, that’s the worst attitude I ever heard.” which Julius replies with “Attitude reflects leadership, captain.
” In this instant Gerry realised that Julius was right and, the following day he made the team realise that no matter what race you belonged to, at the end of the day you all belonged to the same team: ‘The Titans.’ Gerry and Julius made sure the team realised the importance of working together as a team so they can do well and in order to achieve this they needed to overcome their racial differences that was slowly splitting the team apart. Another time we see how meeting different people changes our perspective was when we were first introduced to Coach Boone, the schools first black coach which left many people apathetic.
Coach Boone made the effort to unite both teams together, as one, for the first time in Virginia. One of the first times we see this is when Boone purposefully forces the two races to sit together on the bus to camp he says “Listen up, I don’t care if you’re black, green, blue, white, or orange, I want all of my defensive players on this side, all players going out for offense over here.” He then advanced to pair people from opposite races together and advises them “Get comfortable too, because the person that I have you sitting next to is the same one you’ll be rooming with for the duration of this camp.” This was one Boones many efforts to try and unite the two races together as one and make the boys realise that they aren’t so different. He taught the young men that racism is beyond common sense and has no place in our society, and he changed the races views on each other and made them realise that the only difference between them was their skin colour, and that neither race was inferior to another. He taught the team that achievement has no colour.
In this day and age some people believe that racism is over because there are no longer any slaves, some people believe that there is still racism but that’s alright. I believe that those people would benefit a great deal from seeing this movie. I know that there is still racism, I also understand that it’s not acceptable. Yakin shows us that we must focus on the real issues in our world and fight to overcome these critical problems, such as discrimination, racism and brutality and even something as little as a football team can help influnece massive change in the way that individuals perceive other races.
The novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part -Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie also displays the concept of how meeting people can impact our lives and change our perspective on how we perceive each other when we pursue the main character Junior. The book follows a fourteen-year-old boy, Arnold Spirit (Junior), living with his family on the Spokane Indian Reservation near Wellpinit, Washington for a school year. It is told in episodic diary style, moving from the start of the school year to the beginning of summer. We follow his incredible journey of how he shifted his education from an Indian Reservation school to a rich white school (Reardan). It includes both Junior’s written record of his life and his cartoon drawings, some of them comically commenting on his situation, and others more seriously depicting important people in his life.
Before Junior moved to Reardan he only thought so little of himself he thought he was nothing more than “just a poor ass kid living with his poor ass parents on a poor ass Indian Reservation”. Race is a pretty huge deal for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Why? Because it gives Arnold Spirit, Jr. a good deal of trouble in his search for self. Arnold feel like he’s only half an Indian – or as he says a “part-time Indian” – once he transfers to the white school in Reardan. He then gets split into two: Junior on the Indian reservation and Arnold in his white high school. This all suggests that one’s racial or ethnic identity can change depending on place or social setting. Once he transferred to a new school, he met a kid named Gordy. He showed Junior that if we wanted to succeed in life then he needed to work hard like everyone else if he wanted to be successful. “I want to be your friend,” Junior said to Gordy. “Excuse me? I assure you, I am not a homosexual.” “Oh, no,” Junior replied. “I don’t want to be friends that way. I just, I meant regular friends. I mean, you and I, we have a lot in common.” Junior described himself as “I was lonely and sad and isolated and terrified. Just like Gordy.” This is implying that Junior thought of himself as a lonely, sad, isolated and terrified teenager and to overcome this he decided to befriend Gordy. So they form a “tribe” of two outsiders who are both smart, interested in learning and interested in reading books.
In the following year, Gordy helps Arnold with learning and he shows him how joyful it can be to learn new things. They became quite acquainted to each other because they were so much alike. Gordy teaches Junior that life doesn’t offer many big things to celebrate, so learn to appreciate the smaller things in life and find happiness in them. Junior also made many many other new friends such as Roger and Penelope. These characters helped shape Juniors perspective of white people. One of the times we see this is when Junior punches Roger in the face because he cracked an extremely racist joke. “Hey, Chief,” Roger said. “You want to hear a joke?” Did you know that Indians are living proof that niggers fuck buffalo?” Junior felt so enraged by this insult that he threw his fist into Rogers face without giving it a second thought. Roger didn’t react or hit him back at all he just walked away. He was being the better person and he respected Junior because he was the first person who stood up to him. Junior thought he was following the rules of a “fight” when he went after Roger and proclaimed: “You meet me after school right here, “Junior said. “Why?” he asked. “Because we’re going to finish this fight” he demanded. “You’re crazy,” Roger said. He got to his feet and walked away without another word leaving Junior standing there dumbstruck. Penelope and Roger changed his view that white people were barbaric beasts who got the easy life, but rather as people who are just the same as him and aren’t as savage as he thought. Junior had this fixed mind-set that white people were nothing but cruel beasts because of the way him and his family were treated in the past due to other white people.
Junior eventually realises that all white people are not the same and Roger and Penelope helped alter his perspective. This reveals how meeting new people can help alter your mindset because if Junior had never met Roger, Penelope or Gordy he would’ve never achieved so much at Reardan High School and still would be living in fear of white people and stuck in a mindset where he is going to constantly live in poverty and not be able to achieve more things because he’s just a kid from the rez. We must consider this in our own lives as well we can’t live our lives in fear of something otherwise we may not be able to get on with our lives. The only way to overcome fear is to go through it.
The Blind Side is a life lesson more than it is a film. Directed by John Lee Hancock, this film shows us that when new people enter our lives we tend to have a different outlook on various things. Through the movie Leigh Anne discovers Michael’s problems and also changes perspective on people like Michael. She helps unravel Michael and deals with his problems and helps him with his education. Leigh Anne also changes through the movie whilst helping Michael. By the end, Michael is adopted into the family. He goes to college and becomes a 1st grade NFL player. I chose this text because it demonstrates how people can change perspectives no matter what race, religion, economic status or appearance. An example of this is when Leigh Anne was talking to her friends over lunch about the way she had found Micheal and how much he had impacted her life since the day she found him looking so vulnerable on the street. One of her friends said to her, “Honey, you’re changing that boy’s life.” She softly replies with “No, he’s changing mine.” This shows us that Micheal has impacted Leigh Anne’s life and we are shown that Leigh Anne is standing up to her friends who are making a mockery out of him, just because he is a “large black boy” and she defends Michael.
Leigh Anne gets to know Michael throughout the film; learning about his past, his strengths and weaknesses. She understands how he thinks and understands that he is very protective of family. Now that he is apart of the Tuohy family he will protect them no matter what. When Leigh Anne takes Michael shopping for the first time. They go downtown to a very run down part of the town. Leigh Anne is cautious of the dodgy people that are living there, but Michael tells her “I got your back.” Leigh Anne links her arm through Michael’s. This simple gesture shows trust and how it has bloomed into a beautiful bond.
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