Melvin B. Tolson (Denzel Washington) is a college professor at Wiley College, an African American college in the south East part of Texas. Professor Tolson, with his radical political views and unconventional teaching style, takes three students and teaches them the art of debate. He himself, is secretly involved in the Jim Crow laws of the 1930s discrimination and attends secret meetings with others.
James Farmer Sr. (Forest Whitaker) is the local preacher in the community. He becomes unsettled when his 14 year old son, James Farmer, Jr. (Denzel Whitaker), starts spending more time with Professor Tolson debating against other African American colleges. Along with fellow students, Samantha Brooke (Jurnee Smollett), who James Jr. takes a fancy too, Henry Lowe (Nate Parker) and Hamilton Burgess (Jermaine Williams), this team of underdogs will take on the most elite Harvard has to offer.
2007 - The Great Debaters - African American Film Critics - Best Picture
2007 - The Great Debaters - National Board of Review - The Bvlgari Award for NBR Freedom of Expression
Harpo Films, MGM Distribution Company
Director: Denzel Washington
Writer: Robert Eisele
Producers: Todd Black, Oprah Winfrey, Kate Forte