The Blind Side is an award-winning movie that will undoubtedly tug at your heart strings leaving tears welling up in your eyes at one point or another. The true story made into film is about a Memphis boy being adopted by a determined mother of two. After driving by Michael Oher walking on the side of the road, Leigh Anne Tuohy alerts her husband to stop so she can make sure this young man does not need a ride home. After questioning where she can take him, she quickly learns he has nowhere to go and offers a place to stay for the night. As the story progresses Michael moves in with the Tuohy’s and eventually Leigh Anne and Sean adopt him.
The number of injustices in this real-life story is very telling that we need more Leigh Anne’s in the world. Michael was the son of a drug addicted mother, who had many other children to look after and lived in an underserved area with a father that was in and out of jail. To say he was neglected is an understatement. The Tuohy’s, a white family, was criticized by others for taking in this poor, young, black man. In one scene we watch as Leigh Anne listens to a message on the answering machine of a relative asking if they knew there was a “colored boy” in the Christmas card. Michael ends up playing football for his high school team and becomes quite good in his position, so good in fact he is vigorously recruited by many college teams. Towards the end of the movie Michael gets questioned as an investigation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association is underway with concerns the Tuohy’s adopted him so he could attend and play for their alma mater. Everything works out with a very heartwarming ending.
In this film we see black versus white, rich versus poor, a strong woman lead, drug and gang issues, and an assumption by a collegiate organization that Michael was adopted into this family for recruitment purposes. Michael struggles in the film to fit in anywhere and even goes back to where he used to live because he was having a hard time in this white family. This displays intersectionality that he as a poor, black man does not fit with a white, rich family and thinks his destiny is to join a gang in the inner city. When he is pointed out on different instances of being the black man in a white family, we are experiencing the theory of the “other.” Leigh Anne never gives up on him and truly sees him as her beloved son. Once he realizes that for himself, we see the third space that Leigh Anne created for him to be himself and be a part of this family, his family. As we all know this story had a very happy ending as Michael Oher had a successful professional career in the NFL. The courage Leigh Anne had to fight these injustices is more admirable than anyone can put into words.
ABC news. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2021, from https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/blind-side-star-quinton-aaron-opens-bullied/story?id=38397055
Board, O. (2015, November 30). Leigh Anne Tuohy and Michael oher’s story is featured in the film “The Blind Side.” #OSUSPEAKERS PIC.TWITTER.COM/DK2IXZCSBL. Retrieved April 25, 2021, from https://twitter.com/osuspeakers/status/671403084371767296
The blind side [Motion picture]. (2009). Warner Bros.