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When I inherited my classroom at school, there was a movie poster on one of the walls for some Disney movie with Denzel Washington called “Remember the Titans”. I thought, well maybe I should watch it to see what it’s all about if my predecessor thought it deserved a place on the wall. I thought it would just be another of those corny American football movies where some pack of incompetent idiots who can hardly walk let alone play sport are miraculously turned into world beaters because their coach gives a nice pep-talk or two – but it actually had a bit more depth to it than that. It’s a film that’s mainly about race and prejudice and the bridging of those divides. The premise is that the high school football teams in this particular American town in the sixties have always been divided on racial lines. There’s no racial mixing. So when it’s decided that they should be joined together, many people have a problem with that. But one scene I especially remember is when this great big fat guy with blonde hair (no, it wasn’t me) walks into this training session. The blacks are standing their talking to the coach and the white players have so far refused to turn up. In he strolls (lumbers would probably be a better word) and with this pretty goofy grin on his face, he walks over to the group of black players and casually announces, “I want to play football.” All the black players are stunned. The white guys then just walk in and are just as stunned to see one of their own in with the black kids. That’s just not the way these thing work, it goes against common sense and ingrained social expectations.

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