What moved me greatly about this movie was Calvin Lockhart’s powerful performance. Set in a school with black students predominantly, Professor Quincy Davis strives to set all the equations right when a few white students arrive but only to the discomfort of their black counterparts. This leads to a lot of insecurities, petty bitching, trivial fights and consequently, to a huge racial conflict where the blacks lose it after a point of time. Lloyd Wilkerson (John McLiam) as the dictatorial principal can also be held accountable for the horrors that follow. A white girl is stripped in the locker. A white boy is repeatedly beaten. All the whites are continuously bullied by the blacks(led by the militant student J.T.Watson). It is only Professor Quincy with his positive, encouraging, sincere and patient attitude combined with his powerful oratory and idealism who manages to handle the situation which is only a few doubts away from getting worse. Even when the black students are not eager to learn initially, Professor Quincy’s untiring and endeavoring encouragement magically coaxes them to reform themselves. I could actually empathize here with him at this point and also when every time I would see a student do something irritating and wait for him to burst into anger. But he would surprise me with his calm yet unruffled reaction. I don’t know how much of this patience can be implemented in real life especially if one teaches a class of 75 naughty, small minds but Mr. Professor has played his part in making me hopeful and hence I hope I always see his face pop up in my mind whenever I am about to lose my patience with one naughty student or the other. Hats off to Professor Quincy and hats off to this powerful drama.
And Prof Quincy also shares an uncanny resemblance with my Politics professor (some overpowering personality he was!) Maybe that’s the reason why I like him more.