The Great Debaters is good. I took my students to a matinée showing today. It follows the usual, inspiring, based-on-a-true-story, determined Black folk film format, but a well-acted, beautifully shot film about Black folks doing great things, in academic environments, is always welcome*.
I was glad to hear my students making connections to some of the history we discussed earlier in the year, like sharecroppers, unions & Jim Crow. And since September, we've had an ongoing discussion in my classroom about language, voice, silence and testimony. I hope this film afforded them a better understanding of power of words and the ways in which our words can save us.
On the subway ride back, a couple different people asked me if I was the teacher, and seemed perplexed when I answered, "Yes." The kids weren't misbehaving at all, so I guess they were thinking I looked more like the big sister or young mom (chaperoning her son and his eleven friends?) than an educator. Either way, I decided to take it as a compliment.
*It doesn't hurt when Nate Parker gets tons of screen time, including a shirtless moment. The man could get it everyday and three times on Sunday ;)