Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Words: 978
Pages: 4

“Can People Ever Change?”

Many people experience events or challenging situations in life that change their perspective about other people. This is a common theme found in the historical fiction novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor, which is set in a small, southern town in Mississippi during the 1930s. The movie “Remember the Titans,” directed by Boaz Yakin, addresses this theme in a similar way, and it is based on real events in Virginia during the 1970s-1980s.
In the book, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, African Americans live with much racism and segregation aimed at their community, however, the main characters go through difficult times that help change their overall view about people from different races.Throughout
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When the movie begins, the small town of Alexandria, Virginia is going through hard times as the school district is integrating and bringing together African American and white students for the first time. The town is extremely unhappy and protesting about the change, especially the football team. Gerry Bertier, a white linebacker, and Julius Campbell, a black linebacker, are forced to spend time together at football camp, and this experience lays the foundation for their unique friendship. Even though their coaches force them to get to know one another, both boys grew to respect and admire each other. For example, Gerry comes to depend on Julius as a role-model on how to tune out the racist actions of his friends and family. Gerry’s own mother speaks out against African Americans at first, and Julius simply ignores her and shows her nothing but respect. Eventually, Julius’ bravery and kind actions win over Gerry’s mother as well, and they become very close. This shows Gerry how to ignore ignorant, racist people, even if they are close to him, and consider what is on the inside of a person instead. The change in Gerry’s perspective is remarkable and he becomes a leader to others for the rest of his …show more content…
At first, the town’s people treated Coach Boone horribly since they were very upset that he replaced their previous white coach, Coach Yoast. They spoke poorly about Coach Boone calling him racist names and taunting him while he was working and in his personal life as well. Once, someone even threatened and terrorized his home by throwing a brick through Coach Boone’s living room window. Although these events horrified and upset him, Coach Boone continued to focus on helping the football team with their amazing efforts on the field, doing what he did best. Over time, as the football team continued to have a no-loss season and the boys on the team grew closer and closer, the people of Alexandria also grew to accept and admire Coach Boone. Toward the end of the movie when the team was about to go to the state finals, Coach Boone’s neighbors cheered for him from their front porches calling his name and applauding his success with the team. This scene showed how people who shut their doors and hid behind their curtains when the Boone’s first moved to town, grew to appreciate them, looking past their racial differences and changing their once racist perspective. These events show that people can change when they allow themselves to learn from others and stop judging one another simply because of a person’s skin