October Spotlight - Black History Month
Join us in ‘Saluting Our Sisters’ and the #WEMATTER movement during Black History Month 2023.
We have created some graphics showing Inspirational Black Female Athletes who made and are continuing to make history, for you to use on social media or for internal comms at your college.
We have also pulled together some teaching resources, a UK Black History Quiz to play in class, and 10 sports films that you could suggest to students to watch this month.
Let us know what celebrations your college is holding for Black History Month and we'll share them. Please email Harriet.Hunt@aoc.co.uk.
Example tweet: We are celebrating Black History Month. This month’s theme is ‘Saluting Our Sisters’, highlighting the crucial role that black women have played in shaping history, inspiring change and building communities.
Please use the graphics below.
Black History Month: UK black heroes quiz
From Stormzy to Mary Seacole how much do you know about these truly inspiring UK black heroes?
You can use this collection of teaching resources to explore black history, heritage, culture and achievements with your class. We have picked two sporting examples for you to use.
10 Sports Films to Watch this Black History Month
1. Coach Carter
Coach Carter is a highly acclaimed sports film based on a true story, starring Samuel L. Jackson as Ken Carter, who takes on the role of a basketball coach in an underserved community. This popular film showcases Coach Carter's dedication to transforming his team into not only great players but also upstanding students by emphasizing academics and personal growth. The movie has received high praise for its strong message, excellent performances, and riveting storyline.
2. Remember The Titans
Remember the Titans tells the inspiring story of an African American football coach, played by Denzel Washington, who leads his racially integrated team to victory amidst the challenges of prejudice and discrimination in 1971 Virginia. This much-loved sports drama highlights themes such as friendship, teamwork, and determination while featuring exceptional acting from Washington and other cast members like Will Patton. Remember the Titans has earned critical acclaim for its poignant storytelling as well as its uplifting portrayal of resilience.
42 is a stirring biographical sports film that follows Jackie Robinson's groundbreaking journey as Major League Baseball's first Black player during an era plagued with racism and segregation. Chadwick Boseman shines in his portrayal of Robinson alongside Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey - Brooklyn Dodgers' general manager - who pushes him onto both success and public scrutiny within baseball history. This widely popular movie has been praised for its powerful narrative about social change through sport along with captivating performances from Boseman and Ford.
4. Love & Basketball
Love & Basketball chronicles Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy McCall's (Omar Epps) intertwined lives as they pursue their shared dreams of playing professional basketball while navigating through the complexities of friendship and love. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, this beloved film offers a unique take on sports movies by exploring the intense relationships on and off the court. Love & Basketball has garnered a loyal following for its captivating portrayal of romance, gender roles, personal growth, and commitment to one's passion.
Sweetwater tells the remarkable true story of Sweetwater Clifton (Everett Osborne), a legendary basketball player and the first African American to sign an NBA contract in 1950. Set during a time of racial tension and segregation, this inspiring film highlights Clifton's courage, determination, and talent in breaking barriers for future generations of Black athletes. Sweetwater has gained popularity due to its engaging storytelling combined with strong performances from its cast, showcasing an important chapter in sports history.
6. King Richard
This inspiring biographical drama centers around Richard Williams (Will Smith), father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. The film chronicles his journey to raise two champions while overcoming various obstacles along the way, earning praise for its heartfelt storytelling and Will Smith's powerful performance.
Ali is a powerful biopic centered on the life and career of famed boxer Muhammad Ali, portrayed by Will Smith who earned an Oscar nomination for his dynamic performance in capturing the essence of "The Greatest." The film follows Ali's journey from his rise to fame through various trials and tribulations, showcasing not only his prowess inside the boxing ring but also as an influential figure fighting for social change. Ali has gained widespread acclaim for its compelling storytelling, strong performances from its cast (including Jon Voight as Howard Cosell), and authentic portrayal of one of sports history's most significant figures.
8. The Express
The Express is a compelling biographical sports drama that tells the story of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), who would become college football's first African American player to win Heisman Trophy during early 1960s amid ongoing racial tensions across United States. With guidance provided by legendary Syracuse University coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid), this inspiring film showcases Davis' resilience against adversity brought before him both on field as well off throughout much too short lifespan tragically cut down due illness far too soon after just barely beginning what surely could have been long-lasting NFL Hall Fame worthy pro-ball years had fate allowed such luxuries instead taking away so prematurely without warning whatsoever leaving behind legacy forever remembered long cherished throughout ages thanks largely part due big screen adaptation keeping alive memory always still today even now all these many decades later onward into future unknown yet hopefully brighter tomorrow.
9. Cool Runnings
Based on the true story of Jamaica's first Olympic bobsled team led by coach Irv Blitzer (John Candy), Cool Runnings is an iconic underdog tale that resonated with audiences worldwide. With memorable performances from Leon Robinson and Doug E. Doug, it remains one of Disney's most beloved sports movies.
Starring Terrence Howard as real-life swimming coach Jim Ellis, Pride tells the inspiring story of how Ellis turned around an underprivileged swim team in Philadelphia during the 1970s. With its uplifting message and engaging performances from Howard and Bernie Mac, Pride remains a popular choice among sports movie enthusiasts.