Make Room For The Stuttering


Posted on: September 28, 2009

I watched the movie “Pride” this past weekend. It was one of those feel good, inspirational movies. It is about a unlikey group of kids who learn to swim and compete as a team. The kids are befriended by a caring adult who helps transform them into a team that takes pride in their accomplishments. The team plays for the Philadelphia  Department of Recreation, calling themselves PDR. The coach (played wonderfully by Terrance Howard) uses the words “Pride, Determination and Resilience” to motivate the kids.  The team excels and overcomes racial adversity, instilling pride and hope in their community.

One of the kids on the team stutters. I did not know this before hand about the movie. It was a pleasant surprise. Trailers for it of course had not mentioned that one of the characters stutters. It is after all not a movie about stuttering. None of the internet stuttering sites had mentioned this as a movie with a stuttering character, which is unusual!

Anyway, the kid is clearly the underdog of the group, the one you feel for the most, as he is taken advantage of by the neighborhood gangs. His stuttering is portrayed very realistically throughout the movie. He is bullied by the gang leader, but there is nothing else negative about the stuttering. As a matter of fact, there is surprise twist at the end of the movie, where this kid does something he didn’t think he could do. His teammates believed he could do it, because of his heart.

I love these kind of message movies. It shows how anything can be accomplished with support, hard work and belief in self. This message was subtly implied about the young man who stuttered too. He did not let his stuttering hold him back. He asked questions, daring to suggest what was on his mind. He spoke up and found something  that he loved and pushed himself to excel. His team mates or coach did not care he stuttered. It did not keep him from swimming.

The motivational words used by the coach – “Pride, Determination and Resilience” can be applied to stuttering as well. There is no reason why we can’t take pride in who we are and how we speak. We should be proud to be communicators who happen to stutter.

We need to be determined to set and achieve goals. Stuttering should not hold us back. We are just as capable as the next person to dream and reach our dreams.

And we are resilient. As stutterers, we bounce back all of the time. We get tripped up, we block, we get embarrassed, and then we pick ourselves up and start all over again. When we do that time and time again, we set a good example, for other people who stutter, for young people, for our children and most importantly, for ourselves.

If you get a chance, watch the movie “Pride”. It is inspired on a true story. It features Terrance Howard as Jim Ellis, Bernie Mac (one of his final acting roles before his untimely death), and Kimberly Elise, of “Diary of a  Mad Black Woman” fame. It’s a great story of motivation and overcoming adversity.

What do you think about pride? Should we be proud of our stuttering? Do you think people who stutter are more determined and resilient than fluent speakers?

4 Responses to "Pride"

I’m becoming more resilient the more i stutter openly and accept that this is who i am (a lot of thanks to you pam )…i got cut off today by a guy teaching a phonics course …i was trying to say the name of my school’Broughton” and he said ”oh yes u told me earlier ”….this i found difficult but didn’t let it get to me ,i just said it again and made him hear me …i was actually and rarely proud !!!!!
lisa xx

Not sure if I am proud of my stuttering, but I will always stutter with pride!


I think everyone views their stuttering differently. I don’t feel proud that I stutter, but I feel pride in my accomplishments. Did you say where this movie is playing? I have to read again. It is late. Tks for sharing. I think one has to be resilient in life to be successful!!

We don’t have to be proud of our stuttering. It is a different way of talking. But as mentioned, we can and should be proud of ourselves, every time we step out of oursleves and show the world our entire self, stuttering and all.

We should be proud of who we are!

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2022.
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