” Herman Boone, former coach of the T.C. Williams Titans featured in the Disney movie Remember The Titans, spoke at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lecture at the main branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library Sunday afternoon. The majority of Boone’s lecture was spent honoring Martin Luther King Jr.””
Herman Boone, former coach of the T.C. Williams Titans featured in the Disney movie Remember The Titans, spoke at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lecture at the main branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library Sunday afternoon.
The majority of Boone’s lecture was spent honoring Martin Luther King Jr., his accomplishments throughout his life and their lasting importance.
Make sure you tell your children that they are expected to be the engineers of bridges strong enough to cross into the land of respect, Boone said. Live his dream.
Boone was both charming and funny. Many of his comments garnered laughter and applause from the crowd.
Upon entering the main auditorium and seeing the full and highly diverse crowd, Boone said, I know why all of you are here, they told you Denzel Washington was coming today, didn’t they?
Later in his lecture, Boone stressed education. Give children a future, Boone said. Take guns and give them books. Take disrespect and give them hope, and demand they pull their pants up from below their waist.
Despite the humorous comment here and there, Boone’s message was clear that changes still need to be made.
I urge people to embrace diversity, teach kids the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. and speak out against injustices, Boone said. A right is something you are born with, not something you are given.
Eventually, Boone’s lecture moved to his coaching career and the inspiring story of the T.C. Williams Titans overcoming diversity to win the Virginia state football championship in 1971.
This movie isn’t about football, Boone said. It’s about incredible boys in Alexandria, Virginia, who followed the words of Martin Luther King Jr.
These young men put their differences aside and celebrated diversity and their teammates. Each week, they battled and marched on, Boone said. This movie showed the world that black and white kids can play together with respect. It also showed what Martin Luther King tried to show all of us.
Boone also spoke of his fondness for his counterpart, Coach Bill Yoast.
Coach Yoast is a dynamic individual, Boone said. I don’t know what I’d do without him. Half the time, I don’t know what to do with him.
Boone said the two still speak twice a week.
Despite being depicted by one of the most famous actors in Hollywood, Boone still lives a modest life.
I still have the same house, same wife, Boone said to laughter from the crowd. We just believe that it’s not the things that glitter that make you a human being, it’s your beliefs.
Entering the position as head coach, Boone knew what he would be facing.
Those boys didn’t like me and didn’t want me to have the job. They were racist, Boone said. Getting the parents to understand we’re all human beings in the eyes of God was the biggest challenge. Kids will relate to one another but the parents couldn’t. They eventually came around.
I told them I don’t care if you don’t like each other, I don’t like most of y’all, Boone said. But you will respect each other.
Respect is the key, Boone said. There isn’t a person in this room who isn’t guilty of a crime based on race.
In closing, Boone again reminded everyone of King’s dream.
Martin Luther King Jr. believed that communities should enter a covenant where all people can walk fearless in a rainbow society in peace with itself and mankind.