The Great Debaters is based on a real story about the 1935 Wiley College debate team. Under the tutelage of their dynamic coach, Melvin B. Tolson, three young debaters from a small black college in the Jim Crow South managed, against all odds, to defeat the all-white reigning national championship team. Their stunning achievement shattered racial stereotypes and earned them the lasting respect of their peers and the nation. Influenced by their coach Melvin B. Tolson, the Wiley College debaters would go on to devote their talents to the causes of civil justice and social progress and become leaders in the Civil Rights Movement.
For over 130 years, Wiley College has been a center of learning for all who sought to enter its doors. Primarily, however, it has served African Americans and other minorities. The College was founded in 1873 by the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the purpose of providing education to the "newly freed men" and preparing them for a new life. Initially, the purpose of Wiley College was to focus mainly on training teachers for careers at black elementary and secondary schools but till today it has another purpose tied to it. After such a long gap, The Great Debaters inspire Wiley's new debate team as it climbs the ladder to the place they deserve.
Word Count: 222
During the Great Depression, a common-man hero, James J. Braddock--a.k.a. the "Cinderella Man"--was to become one of the most surprising sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, the impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom. But deep inside, Jim Braddock never relinquished his determination. Driven by love, honor and an incredible dose of grit, he willed an impossible dream to come true. In a last-chance bid to help his family, Braddock returned to the ring. No one thought he had a shot. However Braddock, fueled by something beyond mere competition, kept winning. Suddenly, the ordinary working man became the mythic athlete, carrying the hopes and dreams of the disenfranchised on his shoulders.
During the time of the great depression everyone called him “The Cinderella Man,” because he was the hopes and dreams of the whole society, he gave them courage to do something during these bad times.
After the fighting and everything, Braddock served honorably in WWII. He later owned operated heavy equipment on the same docks where he labored during the Great Depression. In the early 1960s he also helped build the Verrazano Bridge.
Word count: 204
A Valkyrie is one of a host of female figures who decide which soldiers die in battle and which live. Operation Valkyrie was a German Army plan that was converted into an attempted coup d'état that failed after the July 20 Plot (1944). The 2008 film Valkyrie is based on events surrounding the operation.
During World War II, Wehrmacht Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was severely wounded during an RAF air raid in Tunisia, losing a hand and an eye, and is evacuated home to Nazi Germany. Olbricht presents Stauffenberg at a meeting of the secret committee which has coordinated previous attempts on Hitler's life. Stauffenberg is stunned to learn that no plans exist on the subject of what is to be done after Hitler's assassination. He gets the idea of using Operation Valkyrie, which involves the deployment of the Reserve Army to maintain order in the event of a national emergency. The plotters carefully redraft the plan's orders so that they can dismantle the Nazi regime after assassinating Hitler. At Goerdeler's insistence, Stauffenberg is ordered to assassinate both Hitler and SS head Himmler. Rumors reach Berlin that Hitler survived the blast, but Stauffenberg dismisses them as SS propaganda, for attempting to assassinate Hitler and all the members of the German resistance are ordered to be executed by