Remember the Racial Tension
Attending high school has many challenges socially, academically, and athletically. In the years of racial integration these challenges were amplified for the students. The movie Remember the Titans tells the story of how one high school dealt with integrating black and white students into their school and also into a championship football team. The media can depict their own take on how this transition played out. The media distorts the racial tension demonstrated within the film Remember the Titans, as a means to sell more movie tickets and create a more dramatic story.
Because the movie Remember the Titans is based on a true story, viewers are more likely to take the racial situations more seriously when in fact they are over exaggerated and distorted. The characters in the movie are based on real people and the movie has events based on facts. The film tells the story of how the school board mandated the integration of black and white students into their school system. The school was formed by the consolidation of three of the community’s high schools. The school depicted in the film is T.C. Williams High School. The integration of the school not only meant that the classrooms would have both black and white students, but the football field would also have an integrated team. The film deals with the controversy of racism in the south at the beginning of the 1970s. The school’s football team is the main focus in the movie. It shows the hard times the Titan’s 1971 football team went through to end up with a perfect 13-0 season. The film arguably over exaggerates the racial tension which emphasizes on how black and whites should be treated differently when they should not. Jacquelyn Kilpatrick expresses that the visual which a movie portrays is more compelling than the written word and will exist as “fact” in the minds of the youth (535). Racial tension was present in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971, but it may have been amplified for a more compelling plot in the movie. In turn, viewers form a misconception of the way racial tension actually was versus its distorted portrayal in the movie. The viewers are exhibited with a film that displays a false presentation of how different races were treated during that time period.
Another distortion found within the movie is that T.C. Williams High School was actually opened in 1965, not in 1971 (Merron). By 1971 racial barriers and such distinct separation probably would not be present between blacks and whites. One of the football players shown in the movie, Ronnie Bass, can confirm the distortional portrayal of the racial tensions in the movie. The Greenville News did an interview with the real Ronnie Bass and he said, “They (the movie) had a community dived down black and white, and it really wasn’t like that in 1971 Alexandria.” He admitted that the Titans football season and championship did help the community to come together. According to Charlotte A. Jirosek, a...