Plato says a wise mind is an interrogating mind. It wants to know why. It doesn’t accept a thing because the Big Boys say it’s right. It doesn’t get on the bandwagon. A wise man thinks for himself. He questions everything. That’s the only way to find the truth.”
- Melvin B. Tolson
In April of 2008 DEBATE-Kansas City created the Melvin B. Tolson Society to honor the legacy of a famous Kansas Citian, Melvin Tolson. He graduated from Lincoln High in 1919 and Tolson’s story was made famous by the 2007 film The Great Debaters, where Tolson was played by Denzel Washington.
At the April 2008 annual Awards Night Celebration DKC presented the first ever Melvin B. Tolson Senior Award. What made the night incredible were the guests of honor: Melvin’s living sons Melvin Jr. and Arthur and grandson Kenneth. Below is a picture from that memorable night.
From left to right: Kenneth Tolson, grandson, Christopher Bernard, Tolson senior award winner, Arthur Tolson, son, Melvin Tolson Jr., grandson, Gabe Cook, DKC Director and Isaac Allen, DKC Program Coordinator.
In September of 2008 DEBATE-Kansas City assisted the Kansas City Kansas Public School Foundation for Excellence in hosting The Great Debate Forum. Hundreds of students heard from local leaders on why debate can so do much so much good for participants, but the highlight was hearing from Nate Parker, who was in the film The Great Debaters. See pictures below from the event.