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  • ## [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."