Texts are universal as they can be used to teach us about life and its issues. This concept is conveyed distinctly in the prescribed text ‘Remember the Titans’. Directed by Boaz Yakin, ‘RTT’ is based on the true story of an African American coach Herman Boone as he tries to introduce a racially diverse football team to T.C Williams High School, Alexandria set in 1971. The historical context indicates that the main adversity faced was the racial conflict between white Americans and African Americans. Conflict can develop between individuals when they bear different values and personalities. Gerry Bertier, a white American football player immediately refuses to accept the integration of the African Americans into their team. He perceives African Americans as “black animals”. The full quote given by Gerry, “I don’t want to play with any of those black animals” presents the concept of facing adversity. The metaphor “black animals” clearly displays his antagonistic attitude towards African Americans.
The negative tone of “don’t” demonstrates the extent of the adversity he will be facing. Also, the simple high modality language used such as “don’t” and “any” illuminates his perspective of African Americans as inferior beings and also illustrates his refusal and reluctance to accept the African Americans as his equal. Conflict can be resolved between individuals when they truly accept the different values others possess and learn to acknowledge this diversity. Acceptance was what was needed in order to overcome the racial and cultural barrier. When Julius says “Attitude reflects leadership, Captain” it causes Bertier to realise what was needed to be done in order for the team to unify. Coach Boone makes an inspirational and significant speech at the battlefield of Gettysburg.
The background non-diegetic triumphant music suggests that both sides are beginning to change, that they were starting to accept and respect each other. We slowly see the unity, the harmony, the brotherhood take form throughout the practice scenes. In the following practice scene, Bertier becomes infuriated when his “white buddies” aren’t blocking properly. This leads to the recognition and acceptance from Julius to Bertier, when there is a repetition of the football terms “left side!” and “strong side!” These specific football terms “left side” and “strong side” demonstrates the degree of their acceptance of each other.