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Remember the Titans
Transcript of Remember the Titans
'Remember the Titans'
‘Remember the Titans’ is an emotional film which tackles the issues of interracial prejudice and discrimination during the 1970s. After the integration of two schools to form T.C Williams High School, black and white teenagers are far from accepting of each other, in particular those on the football team. White boys are worried that their positions on the squad will be taken by their fellow black and apparently undeserving teammates, whilst the black kids are overjoyed to be finally given a shot at playing ball. Throughout the film, the boys learn to cooperate, work together and play as a united team, overcoming a myriad of obstacles along the way. Not only athletes, but coaches and parents also learn to accept those of conflicting views and contrasting colours to benefit their sons and the wider community of Virginia.
Mutual interdependence refers to two groups relying on each other to complete tasks and activities. This is usually effective in reducing prejudice as it encourages cooperation between groups and forces them to interact to achieve common goals.
Discrimination is the observable behaviour that stems from having a prejudice. This includes any name calling, abusive gestures and physical contact. Discriminatory behaviour was evident in the film with the black people being referred to in derogatory ways such as “black animals”, “Negros” and even degrading labels such as “them”.
The following factors can be applied to help reduce prejudice and discrimination...
Equality of status refers to no one person being viewed as of more importance or of higher power than another. Maintaining equality between the players wasn’t easy, but it ensured that no one player was seen as being more important than the next.
The relatively direct, prolonged contact between two groups, forces them to interact with each other. In the case of the boys playing on the TC Williams football team, training together facilitated their constant interactions.
Julius and Gary
When first put in a room together, Julius and Gary argue about Julius' posters going up on the wall.
Gary: I ain't lookin' at that for two weeks, man. Take it down.
Julius: You can close your eyes for two week for all I care.
However, throughout the duration of the film and after spending increasingly more amounts of time with each other, the two become as close as brothers. When Gary is in hospital, upon arrival Julius is greeted by Gary's mother and told; "He doesn't want to see anybody but you, Julius."
Gary's mood and humour improve when Julius enters the room as he says to the nurse:
Alice, are you blind?
Don't you see the family resemblance?
That's my brother.
Prejudice refers to having a negative attitude towards a person or group of people based on their membership to a particular group. Prejudice is usually internalised and stems from a lack of knowledge about a particular group where judgements are usually predisposed. Before the black and white kids got to know each other, they exhibited prejudice by not sitting with boys of a different colour and not making an effort to talk to one another.
Gary’s mother exercises prejudice towards Julius by saying to Gary; “I don’t want to get to know him.” This is not a direct assault on Julius but explicitly shows that she does not want to associate with him solely based on his membership to a group of black people.
Coach Boone receives a lot of discrimination based on holding the position of head coach and being a black person. One of the bigger displays of abuse is when he gets called “Coach Coone” and a brick is thrown through his window.
The boys were made to become familiar with their teammates according to Coach Boone’s instructions:
"Each one of you will spend time every day with a teammate of a different race. You will learn about him and his family, his likes, his dislikes. You will report back to me until you meet every one of your teammates. Until that time, we go to three-a-day practices. You continue to ignore each other, we'll go to four-a-day practices."
Cooperation was required from both parties, as the task couldn’t occur without people from both races conversing without excessive hostility, hence mutual interdependence was applied. Naturally, getting to know each other brought the team together as they were able to bond over common interests.
Superordinate goals are common goals that two opposing teams or groups have. Having common goals often requires sacrifices to be made by each group for the goal to be achieved by both parties. In ‘Remember the Titans’ the common goal of both races was to be part of the Titans team and win the premiership.
As a team, of course winning was a common goal. They had to work together for the team to function but also had to make sacrifices to ensure success, even if it didn’t positively impact them directly. The boys learnt to work together as a united team, rather than individuals
Coach Boone and Yoast worked together but in separate ways. Boone was Head Coach but Yoast ran the defensive line. In the final game however, working separately was not an option and Yoast sacrificed his pride for the success of his team.
“Herman, I sure could use your help”
Among the coaches, Yoast was obviously softer on the “young, black kids” who he thought were more sensitive and didn’t respond well to the harsh criticism dished out by Boone. However, Boone was sure to be fair in his coaching and ensure that no player was treated any differently. While his coaching style was very intimidating, it was fair.
“I'm the same mean cuss with everybody out there on that football field”
Equality in Coaching