Denzel, Oprah team up for a movie about East Texas college

It is not every day that Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey do a movie together about a historically black college with fewer than 1,000 students.

But that’s what happened when the pair learned about a David and Goliath matchup in which Wiley College’s 1935 debate team won a national championship against Harvard University and also beat other perennial oratorical powerhouses.

In 2004, the United Methodist-related college in Marshall, Texas, began to receive inquiries from Hollywood about Melvin B. Tolson, leader of Wiley’s first debate team.

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