Sunday, December 16, 2007
The Great Debaters is Up for an Award Already
The producers behind the film "The Great Debaters" are already up for an award.
They will receive the 2008 Stanley Kramer Award at the PGA Awards on February 2. The film details the life of Professor Melvin Tolson, coach of the debate team at Wiley College, a small black college founded in 1873.
The professor took a great deal of criticism during for his teaching style and social views.
Tolson's debate team defeated some of the top universities in the world, including Oxford, USC and others. However, the team was never formally recognized as a championship debate team because in the 1930s, black teams were not considered for championship status.
The school struggled to survive during the 1980s and 1990s, coming very close to closing. However, after getting the attention of Hollywood, the school has new buildings and a new set of opportunities.
Enrollment recently doubled and Walmart has agreed to set up a scholarship fund.