Colonel Drummond argues for a teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution. He suggests that making evolution a crime could be a chain reaction that leads to censorship and a government-imposed belief system.
The plot of The Great Debaters revolves around the efforts of debate coach Melvin B. Tolson at a historically black Wiley College to place his team on equal footing with whites in the American South during the 1930s. The movie explores the social fabric of Texas during the Great Depression, for which as long as schools are segregated for whites and blacks, the quality of education will be vastly unequal.
The men suggest that women already have equal rights, but the women claim that they aren't able to fully exercise them because of how they are treated. Lucy tells the men that women want to be treated exactly as if they were men.
Colonel Shaw commends Private Trip on his fighting yesterday. He offers to honor the Private by allowing him to bear the regimental colors. Private Trip indicates that he is not fighting for the Colonel and expresses concern that, even after the war, he and his people will not benefit if they win.