Herman Boone to Speak at Mount Union February 5

February 04, 2009

booneHerman Boone, former head coach of T.C. Williams High School football team, will be speaking about overcoming racial tensions in his career at the Mount Union Theatre on Thursday, February 5 at 7 p.m. as the keynote address for Black History Month.

As three schools came together in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971, the struggle between the black and white students of the newly formed Titans team caused racial disputes to escalate.  When Boone was appointed head coach over Bill Yoast, former head coach of Hammond High, an all white school, Yoast’s supporters were angered. 

Surprisingly, the two coaches were able to unify their teams by putting aside their prejudices, which led to more support and respect within the community.  As a result, the Titans became one of the best teams in Virginia, compiling a 13-0 record and winning the state championship.

This struggle and inspirational story was captured in the Disney film Remember the Titans, starring Denzel Washington as Herman Boone.  In a Washington Post interview, Remember the Titans screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard explained that Herman was Shakespearean in that what he did was sort of unconscious.  He simply wanted to get the players to get along in order to win football games.  “He did something quite beyond what he even realized,” Howard said.

Boone is now retired, but continues to motivate audiences by speaking on diversity, teamwork, respect and community support.

This event is free and open to the public.  The Mount Union Theatre is located at 1845 S. Union Ave.

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