Wednesday, February 18, 2009


starring Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker

This is a movie based on a true story, more focused on the issues on the injustice faced by the Blacks back in the 1930s.

It is a story about how a professor, Melvin Tolson, of Wiley College, Texas, inspired his students to form a debate team, which later became the first Black debate team to challenge 'White' colleges and later, even went on to defeat the national champions, the Harvard University's Debate Team.

The Wiley College Debate team is made up of a few great members, but most the renown member is James Farmer Jr. This man later became one of the Big 4 leaders of the American Civil Rights movement and also founded the Congress of Racial Equity with a few of his students. Later he also initiated the "Freedom Rides" in which different races (the Blacks and Whites) traveled together in a bus and challenged segregated bus terminals. "Freedom Riders" were constantly attacked on the bus and there was one attacked which killed several of the Freedom Riders. And the Freedom Riders of course inspired the teacher, Erin Gruwell, and used it to teach her students. Hence, the start of the Freedom Writers - a movie i watched not so long ago.

In the movie, Jr. was still a 14-year-old. At first, not a good speaker but as usual, rise to the occasion at the end.

His winning speech is very beautiful...

The opponent:
"My father is a police officer...I remember the day his best friend was gunned down in the line of duty. most vividly of all, I remember the expression on my father's face. Nothing that erodes the rule of law can be moral, no matter what name we give it..."

James Farmer Jr. in reply:
"In Texas, they lynch Negros. My teammates and I saw a man strung up on the neck and set on fire...we drove and pressed our face against the floorboards. I looked at my teammates, and saw the look in their eyes. And worst, their shame. What was it that this Negro crime, that he should be hung without trial? Was he a killer? Or just a negro?....Were his children waiting for him?... No matter what he did, the mob is the criminal. But the law did nothing...but just us wondering - why? My opponent says, nothing that erodes the law can be moral. But there is no rule of law in the South, when the Negros are denied housing, turned away from schools, hospitals and not when we are lynched. Saint Augustine said, "an unjust law is not a law at all." Which means I have a right, even a duty, to resist, with violence or civil disobedience. You should pray I choose the latter."

Just like "Crash"...why do Negros, and in fact, anyone at all have to feel ashame of something, which is not even their fault. Why should they be ashamed of the color of their skin? Why should they be ashamed of being afraid of being lynched? Why should they apologize when it's not even their fault? Questions to ponder...

I truly agree..."An unjust law is no law at all". And as responsible citizens, we need to speak out and take responsibility for what we said. I admire most of the local opposition party leaders .I mean, sometimes, I might not agree with their sentiments, but it is their courage to speak up and take responsibility for the things they say that made them heroes. I mean, it's always easy to criticize the government, but doing it publicly and taking the consequences - that's truly admirable. I even more respect those who speak for justice and fight for human rights on a large scale. They put their lives out there. I crap a lot, but fighting for a cause at that scale, I'm not sure I could.

This is yet another inspiring story because there is a good ending to this one and the ending is TRUE!
Very touching indeed.

TC-My Rating:

With LotSa Lurve,

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"I love movies for its subjectivity. A movie is debatable. A single scene can mean a million things and the fun part is talking about them."