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Verisure2020 03 15 copy

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The Film is based on a true story, about the efforts of debate coach Melvin B. Tolson (Denzel Washington) at Wiley College, which is a historically black college related to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South(now The United Methodist Church), to place his team on equal footing with whites in the American South during the 1930s, when lynch mobs were a fear for blacks. The Wiley team eventually succeeds to the point where they are able to debate Harvard University.

James L. Farmer, Jr. (Denzel Whitaker), who, at 14 years old, was on Wiley's debate team after completing high school (and who later went on to co-found the Congress of Racial Equality). Another character on the team, Samantha Booke, is based on the real individual Henrietta Bell Wells, acclaimed poet and the only female member of the 1930 Wiley team who participated in the first collegiate interracial debate in the US.

 

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