“Maybe just me, but College was some confusing times.” – Forrest Gump
Desegregation of Schools
Beginning with the infamous Brown vs. Board of Education, the road to desegregate schools was difficult. Especially in the deep south where many, not all, whites did everything in there power to keep schools segregated. The following is a clip from President John F. Kennedy about the Desegregation of the University of Alabama almost 10 years after Brown vs. Board was passed.
The reason why the University of Alabama incident became so famous was because it was a struggle between the government at a local and federal level. Luckily, the issue was resolved with no one getting hurt. However, the incident still reminds everyone how rampant racism was in the South.
Black Panthers and Civil Rights Movement
Forrest Gump lived during a time where a lot of changes was taking place, one of the biggest changes was happening within the country. That was the desegregation of the U.S. and the Civil Right’s Movement. Here is an article about the status of the movement in 1966. However, in the film the issue of Civil Rights seems to be glossed over, or brought up in an innocent light through Forrest Gump’s take on the situation. In it’s own way, this hurts the historical accuracy of the film, especially when the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X aren’t brought up. What is also missing is the African American role in the protest of Vietnam. What about the reaction to Martin Luther King’s flaming speech protesting the war? The only nod to African American involvement is when Forrest Gump stumbles into a Black Panther meeting. However that context is lost amidst the chaos that is Jenny’s life.