“[On how he overcame racial dogma] I was taught that I had basic rights as a human being. I was taught that I was someone. I knew we had no money, still I was taught that I was someone. We had no electricity and no running water, still I was taught that I was someone. I had very little education. A year and a half, in fact, was all of the schooling that I was exposed to. Still I knew that I was someone.”
In 1960, seven years before this movie was released, (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, 1967), a black economics student named Barack Obama and a white anthropology student named Ann Dunham met, fell in love, and got married. Like the characters of John and Joey in this movie, Barack and Ann were an interracial couple who met at the University of Hawaii during an era when interracial relationships and marriages were still taboo or even illegal in many parts of the country. In 2008, the child that Barack and Ann Obama had together did indeed become President of the United States.
“You listen to me. You say you don’t want to tell me how to live my life. So what do you think you’ve been doing? You tell me what rights I’ve got or haven’t got, and what I owe to you for what you’ve done for me. Let me tell you something. I owe you nothing! If you carried that bag a million miles, you did what you’re supposed to do! Because you brought me into this world. And from that day you owed me everything you could ever do for me like I will owe my son if I ever have another. But you don’t own me! You can’t tell me when or where I’m out of line, or try to get me to live my life according to your rules. You don’t even know what I am, Dad, you don’t know who I am. You don’t know how I feel, what I think. And if I tried to explain it the rest of your life you will never understand. You are 30 years older than I am. You and your whole lousy generation believes the way it was for you is the way it’s got to be. And not until your whole generation has lain down and died will the dead weight of you be off our backs! You understand, you’ve got to get off my back! Dad… Dad, you’re my father. I’m your son. I love you. I always have and I always will. But you think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man. Now, I’ve got a decision to make, hm? And I’ve got to make it alone, and I gotta make it in a hurry. So would you go out there and see after my mother?” - Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner [x]
“In the scene near the end where Spencer Tracy gives his memorable soliloquy, Katharine Hepburn can be seen crying in the background. This was not acting: she knew how gravely ill her longtime lover was and was moved by his remarks about how true love endures through the years.”
“It makes sense now… the way that you do things. And you were sick, and I had a crappy childhood, but it made us even stronger, you know? We both had to work even harder to get to where we are. I just… I feel like I understand you more.”