Text Review – Glory Road (N. Gorbach)

The text I decided to write about is the movie Glory Road. This is a historical movie about the Texas Western basketball team that went on an incredible journey to win its first and only NCAA National Championship. The movie was set during the 1960s when there was still great tension between Whites and African Americans. Throughout the movie, different scenes show the injustice and inter-cultural relationships surrounding racial issues.

The reason this movie is applicable to write about is because this basketball team was the first to team to have an all-African American starting five. The movie does a great job showing the racial injustice that was going on. Teams would boo and throw popcorn and drinks at the players as they came out of the tunnel. They would arrive back to their hotels with their clothes messed with and have the words “Negros” painted in red coloring on their walls. One player was assaulted in a bathroom by a couple other white men. They were treated poorly and looked at different just because of their skin, it did not matter if they were good at basketball. The beginning of the movie showed the racial tension among the African American and Caucasian teammates. However, throughout the movie they become brothers and learn of each other’s cultures and the racial tension was no longer there.

The scene below shows how one African American player “Bobby Jo” felt about being an African American playing basketball in what was perceived at the time to be a “White Man’s Game.” He described as being a “Negro token who would just sit at the end of the bench.” However, Don Haskins, the coach described to him how he did not see color and only saw “quick and skill.” He was a progressive coach who would put the best players on the court regardless of color and his own reputation being questioned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZZS2IwzMFU

This last scene portrays the coach giving a final pep talk to his team before the National Championship. He describes what other coaches think of when they talk about winning teams and what the players have heard the entire life. He tells the players he is only playing the African American players in the final game to put a stop to the racial injustice they have been playing against their entire life. This moment is when they make history and become the first team to ever have all- African Americans in their starting lineup. While the white players are devastated, they realize that this game is bigger than just basketball, they understand its their fellow teammates livelihoods at stake, and this is the perfect opportunity to change the narrative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-u8aMoDLbI

Overall, this movie should be a must watch for everyone! It shows the racial divide in America but shows how people can overcome this injustice through sports and through one common goal, the goal to win.