In the film, “Remember the Titans,” a high school football team in Virginia struggles with the intense segregation of the black and white community. Based on a true story, “Remember the Titans” is modeled after the unforgettable 1971 events that took place in Alexandria, Virginia. Herman Boone, an African-American football coach, was hired to guide an integrated, yet racially polarized, high school team called the T. C. Williams Titans. Part of the controversy stems from the white-skinned assistant coach, Bill Yoast, because he was bypassed for the head position.
It’s evident in the beginning stages of the story that Bill has feelings of bitterness and resentment for coaching under the authority of a black man. However, the two men realized that they have much in common, such as their integrity, honor, and true passion for the game. They learn to overcome their differences while working together to transform a group of angry, unfocused, and otherwise separated players into a winning team of responsible, respectable, and bonded young men.
In the process, the team shows the local community how success can be attained when you work as one unit and the character and soul of a person heavily outweighs the color of their skin. Coach Boone was a man that wanted to make an impact on the community through his controversial team. When he started coaching the Titans he said, “The best will play, color won’t matter. ” This was a sign of equality because each player had the same opportunity to play. Spots were earned through hard work and talent.
At first, the two racially divided leaders, Julius Campbell and Garry Bertier, had a lot of disagreements, which effected how they were able to guide their fellow teammates. Julius, an African American player, said, “Nobody plays. Yourself included. I’m supposed to wear myself out for the team? What team? Nah. Nah, what I’m gonna do is look out for myself and I’ma get mine. ” The conversation showed that in the beginning of the season the players had negative attitudes towards each other.
At that time, each player only cared about themselves and the players of the similar color, and it took immense efforts for the team to become one. The story somewhat shifts when Boone asks every player to get to know everything about a player of the opposite color. During lunch one day, Louie says, “I don’t have any people, I’m with everyone”. For the rest of their time at camp working together, playing together, and laughing together unified them. The players made it seem like they could conquer anything together because they created such a strong bond.
When the team returns back from camp, they are greeted with angry protestors. With the outside world telling the boys they should not be together, the team slowly slips apart. Sunshine tries to get Peety and Rev into a bar of only white folks, but when they enter the bar, the owner refuses to give them services because of their race. This demonstrated how the south was: completely segregated. Garry wants to introduce Julius to his mother, but she will not allow it because he is black.
Garry was persistent in that the two meet, so his mother eventually allows Julius to come over for dinner. He welcomes her with a pick up hug, which this alarms her. Garry also tries to get Emma, his girlfriend, to meet Julius, but she walks away as Julius puts out his hand to shake hers. When the Titans are playing for the state championship and Emma realizes that Julius will be in Garry’s life, she accepts this and makes extra efforts for them to finally meet.
Coach Boone and Coach Yoast shaped these boys into men through football. But the true and genuine message of the story is the incredible achievement of integrating black and whites to form a united brotherhood. Though this was not easy, and there was a lot of controversy, the team and coaches were able to show the community what equality really is. It was not about black or white; it was about unification, integration and acceptance, which is an overarching message that is incredibly powerful.