People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.
Release Year: 1995
Rating: 6.3/10 (9,685 voted)
Critic's Score: 54/100
Stars: Omar Epps, Kristy Swanson, Michael Rapaport
Youngsters from different countries, races, and social background are forced to integrate when they all enroll in Columbus University. They all have their own problems, such as finance, harrassment, personal safety, and self doubt. Additionally, campus life seems to be causing a problem for everyone: racism. Students, already under pressure to perform in the classroom, on the track, or in front of their friends, are strained to the breaking point by prejudice, inexperience, and misunderstanding.
Professor Maurice Phipps
(as Busta Rhymez)
Jay R. Ferguson
(as Jay Ferguson)
Trevor St. John
Question The Knowledge
Release Date: 11 January 1995
Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA
Did You Know?
John Singleton wanted Sidney Poitier to play professor Maurice Phipps. He was not available. Singleton's second choice for Professor Phipps was Samuel L. Jackson; the studio preferred Laurence Fishburne, who had worked successfully with Singleton in Boys in the Hood (1991).
When Remy confronts Malik, by the statue, about Malik's black panther shirt and calls him a coon. Malik makes threats and Remy runs off. In the next scene Malik confronts Remy at his dorm room Malik states that Remy has been good about not saying anything to him.
Without struggle, there is no progress. (quoting Frederick Douglas)
Am I insane or . . .
Maybe I'm crazy, but the exact things that everyone seems to find wrong
the movie are the things that I think makes it good. Like everyone was
saying that all of the white characters are bad and all of the black
characters are good, when that is apparently not the case. Why does Remy
become a skinhead? Because the black guys in his dorm rejected,
and belittled him. In a way they drove him to it. Who's to blame
In no way does Singleton let the black characters off the hook here.
of them are portrayed as violent and irrational. Omar Epps's character
good example of where Singleton points out another dangerous attitude
has nothing to do with white people. The character thought the world
him a break because he was black and underprivileged and the teacher is
one to call him on it. Or as someone in a another post pointed out,
to quote you, "Black self-pity," which the film does not excuse, but
addresses with the same skepticism as it does the more generic issues
everyone else seems to be concentrating on (racism, neo-naziism, date
So ask yourself, did this film genuinely leave you with the impression
it glorifies the behvoir of certain characters based on their race? Or
it maybe just that since the director is black you have a preconceived
notion that he will be partial to the black characters?
So where a lot of people seem to think the message is black=good
I see it as It doesn't matter who's wrong and who's right because we need
put our differences aside and get along (almost equally clichee, I know,
still a different message entirely)
Signed, white dude