TSU’S DEBATE TEAM TRAINING DENZEL WASHINGTON’S PEOPLE!

THE GREAT DEBATES!

The Texas Southern University Debate Team held a Debate Camp recently for actors in a movie being produced by Denzel Washington. The tile of the movie is “The Great Debates,” built around the life of Melvin Tolson, a Renaissance poet who taught at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, in the 1930s. Tolson served as coach of the Debate Team at Wiley, where Henrietta Wells, now residing in Houston, was a member. In 1935, the team had the distinction of winning a debate against Harvard. Washington, in addition to producing the movie, is playing the role of Tolson. For two days, actors in the movie were provided with intensive training in the art of communication, via the mechanism of debate, with special emphasis on parliamentary debate. The camp was conducted by assistant coaches, LaShelle Sargent, Clare Bailey, Terrick Brown, and coordinated by head coach Dr. Thomas F. Freeman. Washington, who sat in on some of the sessions, had nothing but praise for the former TSU debaters, whom he rated superior in their conduct at the camp. The following actors were involved in the training session: Donny Boaz, Glen Powell, Denzel Washington Jr. (Denzel’s son), Jermaine Williams, Jurnee Smollett and Nate Parker. The movie is now being filmed in Shreveport, La., and is scheduled for release in early
2008.