In honor of National Speech and Debate Education Day March 5, we pay tribute to The Great Debaters of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. They gained national recognition when history was made April 2, 1935, as they defeated the top-ranked University of Southern California debate team.
The Great Debaters film (2007) covers the Marshall team’s story and stars Denzel Washington as Melvin Tolson, poet and the debate team’s coach. Longview native Forest Whitaker also stars in the film and Oprah Winfrey is one of the producers. It features original buildings on the college campus.
Watch the trailer and learn about “the team that got America to listen.”