Summary: Remember the Titans is an Academy Award winning movie based on one of the first desegregated high schools in Virginia during the 1970s. Throughout the movie, characters are shown trying to overcome their racial prejudices in order to work together and become a winning football team. This particular clip focuses on a scene in which the players board two buses by segregating themselves by race (there is an all-white bus and an all-black bus). As opposed to the legally mandated segregation that characterized Virginia before the Civil Rights movement, this scene illustrates de facto segregation, which is a subtler process of segregation that results from other processes, such as housing segregation. Students may be asked why the athletes would have segregated themselves despite any legal force to do so? Furthermore, the video shows the coach’s efforts to de-segregate the football team, which creates significant racial tensions. Students can be encouraged to think about the challenges of racial desegregation and how these tensions may help reproduce segregation despite those formal mandates. One could also document the persistence of de facto segregation today by showing statistics on residential segregation, or discuss how race and class intersect to produce de facto segregation in schools and inequality in educational quality; indeed, much of the US remains "separate and unequal."
Submitted By: Lauren Morgan, Emily Alt, & Paul Dean