Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles ## [Fast gospel] [Man] # My soul is a witness # # Soul is a witness # - # My soul is a witness # - # Yeah, yeah # - # Soul is a witness # - # Oh, yeah # - # Before I go # - # Oh # - # Before I go # - # 'Fore I go # # Before I go, soul is a witness # [Speaker] Heavenly Father, we come before Thee, knee bent and body bowed in the humblest way that we know how. Father, who controls and knows all things, both the living and dying of all creatures. Give us the strength and the wisdom to do Thy work. In God's name we pray. And all God's people say, "Amen." - # My soul is a witness # - Amen. - # Water, wine # - # So high # - # Water, wine # - # Wine # # Water, wine, soul is a witness # # Soul is a witness # # Soul is a witness # - # Soul # - # Soul is a witness # - # Soul # - # Witness # - # Witness # - # Witness # - # Witness # - # Witness # - # Witness # - # Soul is a witness # [Man] When Agave sobered up, she looked down and saw the head of her son Pentheus - right there in her hands. - She thought he was a wild animal. That's how Dionysus got his revenge. You a heathen, Henry. You know what I got right here? - What? - Some of that very wine. "When I was a child, I spake as a child. "I understood as a child. "I thought as a child. "But when I became a man, I put away all childish things." ## [Gospel continues] - # Early one mornin' # - # Early one mornin' # - # Down the road # - # Early one mornin' # - # Early one mornin' # - # Early one mornin' # # Down the road # ## [continues] [Speaker] Freshman class... I believe we are the most privileged people in America, because we have the most important job in America: The education of our young people. # I was traveling # # Partner too # # Goin' down the road # # Goin' down to say # # My soul is a witness # - # Souls are born # - # Goin' home # - # Soul is a witness # - # Goin' home # # Souls are born # - # Soul is a witness # - # Witness # - # Before I go # - # When I go # - # Before I go # - # Go # [gasps] Trudell! - Who the hell is he? - Oh, he's just my husband. I'm gonna cut your head off. [Speaker] We must impress upon our young people that there will be difficulties that they face. Come on, Trudell. Come get this whuppin', boy. - [Man] Get him down, Trudell. - Scared, ain't ya? Huh? You with the razor and twice my size? [Speaker] They must defeat them! They must do what they have to do in order to do what they want to do. [Man] Come on, now. [Woman] Come on, baby! [Speaker] Education is the only way out. [Grunts] Come on, baby. Get up! Get up, baby. Come on! [Speaker] The way out of ignorance... Like cuttin' people, huh, boy? Want to cut people, Trudell, huh? Get your hands off me! The way out of darkness! Into... the glorious light. ## [Ends] Come on, now! Give it back! - Give it back! - "To our precious Hamilton..." This isn't funny. Come on. Dunbar, give it back. Who do you think you are? Jesse Owens? [Man] Have a seat. "I am... "the darker brother. "They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes. "But I laugh, and I eat well, "and I grow strong. "Tomorrow, I will sit at the table when company comes. "Nobody'll dare say to me, "'Eat in the kitchen' then. "Besides, they'll see how beautiful I am, "and be ashamed. I, too, am America." Who wrote that? Langston Hughes, 1924. 1925. "Hating you shall be a game played with cool hands." "Memory will lay its hands upon your breast, and you will understand my hatred." Gwendolyn Bennett wrote that. She was born in 1902. Unofficially. You see, in most states, Negroes were denied birth certificates, which means I can lie about my age the rest of my life. [Laughing] You think that's funny? To be born... without record. Mr. Reed, hand these out. I'm going to introduce you to some new voices this semester. There's a revolution going on. In the North. In Harlem. They're changing the way Negroes in America think. I'm talking about poets like Hughes, Bennett, Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen... "Some are teethed on a silver spoon, "with the stars strung up for a rattle. "I cut my teeth as a black raccoon... ...for implements of battle." Meet me after class. [Sighs] What's a professor doing in the middle of the night dressed like a cotton-chopper? What is a student doing in the middle of the night throwing his life away? It's funny. I thought I was defending myself. Mm. I remember you. Couple of years ago. Then you disappeared. What happened? I come and go whenever it suits me. - Suspensions? - Leaves of absence. Why'd you come back? School's the only place you can read all day. Except prison. I want you to come by my house tonight, 7:30. - Corner of June and Campus. - Why would I do that? Holding tryouts for the debate team. - You sure you want somebody like me? - No. That's why you're trying out. 7:30. June and Campus. [Muttering] "Driven by the wind and tossed..." Do well tonight, Junior. [Professor] Of the 360 students here at Wiley College, only 45 of you were brave enough to try out for the debate team. Of that 45, only four of you will remain standing when the tryouts are over... why? Because debate is blood sport. It's combat. But your weapons are words. [Knocking] Come on in. Now that Mr. Farmer has joined us, we can begin. Sit down, Mr. Farmer. Not right there. Over there. - Yes, sir. - James. Right this way. Good evening, Mrs. Tolson. - Evening. - Excuse me. We're waiting for you, Mr. Farmer. I'm going, sir. Thank you, Mr. Farmer. You smell very good, Mr. Farmer. - Thank you, sir. - You're very welcome. Gentlemen and lady. This is... the hot spot. You will enter it at your own risk. Mr. Tolson, what about the debaters from last year? Don't ask a question you already know the answer to. Get up here. You'll be first. Get right here. Hot spot. Debate starts with a proposition. With an idea..."Resolved: Child labor should be regulated by the federal government." The first debater argues the affirmative. Affirmative means that you are for something. Mr. Reed will argue the affirmative. The second debater argues the negative. Negative means that you are what? Against. Brilliant, Mr. Burgess. You shall argue the affirmative, Mr. Reed. Go. Well, sir, I'd begin with a quote from the poet Cleghorn. "The golf links lie so near the mill, "that almost every day, "the laboring children can look out and... and..." # And watch the men at play # Is that what you learned from last year, Mr. Reed? To start something, and not finish it? - Is it? - No, sir. Sit down. Who's next? You? Stand up. Stand up. It's getting late. How much longer can you hide? I'm not hiding, sir. I transferred from my college just to come here and try out for your team. I am deeply moved. What's your name? Samantha Booke. - Book? - With an "e." Arise, Miss Booke. With an "e." Into the hot spot, Miss Booke with an "e." You know, there's never been a female on the debating team, ever. Yes, sir. I know that. What makes you think you should be the first? Because, sir, I am just as qualified as... - quit stammering, Miss Booke. ...anybody else here. - My gender has nothing... - "Resolved: Welfare discourages hard work." - You'll argue the negative. - All right. Welfare takes away a man's strongest reason for working, which is survival. And that weakens the will of the poor. How would you rebut that, Miss Booke with an "e"? I would say it does not. Most of the New Deal goes to children, anyway, and to the handicapped, and to old people... - Is that fact, or conjecture? - It is a fact. - Speak up. - It is a fact. - What's your source? - The president. - Of the United States? - Yes, sir. That's your primary source? You spoke to President Roosevelt personally? Of course not. I did not speak to him personally, but I listened to his Fireside Chat. - Oh, a radio broadcast. - Yes. - Any other sources? - Well... Any other sources? Yes, there are other sources. Like that look in a mother's eyes when she can't feed her kids. Without welfare, Mr. Tolson, people would be starving. Who's starving, Miss Booke? - The unemployed are starving. - Mr. Burgess here. He's unemployed. Obviously, he's not starving. I drew you in, Miss Booke. You gave a faulty premise, so your syllogism fell apart. - "Syllogism"? - Your logic fell apart. Major premise: The unemployed are starving. Minor premise: Mr. Burgess is unemployed. Conclusion: Mr. Burgess is starving. Your major premise was based on a faulty assumption. Classic fallacy. Who's next? [Whispers] You were right. [Tolson] Tell us your name. I'm Henry Lowe. With an "e." All right, Mr. Lowe. I will name a subject. You speak a few words... a pertinent quote from world literature. Go ahead. Beauty. "I heard the old, old men say, all that is beautiful drifts away, like the waters."