Part Three: Plato Reviews The Great Debaters
by Marvin X This is a coming of age film of the North American African Nation. It is about a people regaining their consciousness after decades of obscurity. This film puts them back properly in the time and space of history, for they present themselves as a civilized people, the children and the adults, thus making it a movie on the goodness of life and the power of consciousness to reveal the very best of a people, thus regaining their self respect before the world community. It shows the intelligence and leadership of American African youth– of adult leadership and intelligence as well, including the radical activist tradition in North American African History. Every North American African, every Pan African, can be proud that Oprah Winfrey and Denzil Washington produced this. Perhaps we have reached that moment in time when our people have no choice but to be their true selves, their best selves. For the first time in a long time, we see the intellectual genius of a people during the turbulent 1930s. This should be a lesson to all North American Africans that we have a dignified liberation tradition to uphold, thus we cannot sink into the morass of today, but in the manner of this film, take a great leap forward into dignity, respect, and intelligent behavior. As a people, we must be proud of the young performers in this drama. They have exhibited the very best in us as human beings, as African people. The children teach us and themselves in this movie. They teach us the worst in human consciousness with their remarks on a lynching. They repeatedly show us the power of using the black mind for intellectual dexterity rather than barbarity and expressions of animal consciousness. But imagine, so-called Negroes having an intellectual debate, even a team of debaters with a coach who apprises them on the Willie Lynch syndrome, who tells them straight out white supremacy has them insane, thus confirming the sister who says it is not white supremacy but white lunacy, thus we are victims of an insanity far beyond the economic implications. I love James Baldwin’s quote, “It’s a wonder we haven’t all gone stark raving mad,” dealing with white supremacy for four hundred years. The Debaters is a hopeful sign that we can and shall overcome.