A Different World (1987–1993): Season 6, Episode 14 - To Whit, with Love - full transcript

Whitley gets a new job as a teacher and struggles with her disrespectful students.

After heading the hillman
arts society for two years

I landed an internship

with the art guru,
erdeen Abernathy.

After graduating cum laude
in art history

I became a corporate art buyer
for e.H. Wright industries.

That's quite a resume.

Yes, well...

Why are you here?

Excuse me?

You should be running a gallery,
not substitute teaching.

I know.

But it is my love
of the little children

that has driven me
from the dog-eat-dog


albeit lucrative,
corporate sector

to a more fulfilling occupation.

Couldn't find a job, honey?

Please, please hire me.

I'd love to

but I'm afraid they
slashed our budget again.

Art is history.


the teacher
for the remedial class

just took a sudden
leave of absence.

I'll take it.

You got it.

You start tomorrow.

Just out of curiosity

why did this teacher take
a sudden leave of absence?

The kids played
a little keep away.

Oh, is that all?

With her glass eye.

£ ooh £

£ I know my parents loved me £

£ stand behind me
come what may £

£ come what may £

£ I realize that I'm ready £

£ I'm ready £

£ 'cause I finally
heard them say £

£ I heard them say £

£ it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ from where you come from £

£ it's a different world £

£ oh, now,
here's our chance to make it £

£ here's our chance £

£ if we focus on our goal £

£ focus on our goal £

£ if you dish it,
we can take it £

£ we can take it £

£ just remember
that you've been told £

£ that it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ oh, it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ from where you come from £

£ it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ from where you come from £

£ it's a different world £

£ from where you come from,
yeah. £

my wife, the teacher.

I never thought I'd see the day.

She's about as good
with children

as the wicked witch of the west.

Let's leave your mama
out of this.


That was low.

I'm tired of feeling useless.

My life has become
one endless downward spiral.

Yeah, well, why drag

innocent children down with you?

Look, Jimmy jobless...

Hey, hey.

I don't need your support.

I can do this.

I'm not trying to discourage you

but Joseph e. Johnson
junior high school

is one of the roughest
schools in Virginia.

Please, Dwayne,
I can handle myself.

I watched lean on me last night.

She's dead.

Oh, stop it, Ron.

Baby, you got
to remember something.

"Remedial" doesn't
mean "slow" anymore.

It means a dumping ground
for problem kids.

You can't just waltz in
and expect them to respond.

That's where you're wrong.

I'm going to be more than
a teacher to these children.

I'm going to be a parent,
a guide, a counselor

their light at the end
of the tunnel.

Go, baby, go, baby.

She's dead.
She's dead.

Oh, no.

Do you see those sisters?

They are too tired.

Not half as tired as this table.
Look at all these waterspots.

Lena, watch... wipe on, wipe off.

Step off. Step off.

Hey, Lena, Charmaine.

Hi, Dorian.

Hello, Dorian. What's up?

You, baby.

I do believe
I said "Dorian."

And I forgive you.

Lena, after the game today,
we're going to have a party.

I was wondering
if you want to go with me.

It's going to be ugly, man.

I'd love to.

Huh? I asked you that
five times already.

What's he got I ain't got?

A date.

I'll see you tonight, then.



Mm-mm-mm, nothing, speed racer.

That is a church boy.


You'll scare him off.

Excuse me.

I know how to act like a lady.

Too bad some of us have to act.

Wipe on, wipe off, wipe on...

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Excuse me.



Yo to you, too, mama.

Take a seat, please.

Yo, Byron, where do you get
your gear, punks "r" us?

Your pants is so high

I thought you
was wearing shorts.

Leave me alone, please?

Hey, knock it off.


My mama don't even talk
to me like that.

Well, I ain't your mama.

Take a seat, please.

Sit down...


Don't bother thanking me.

Um... could you
all take a seat, please?


I bet she thinks she's cute.

She is.

Sub's got crazy back.

Okay, when I call your name,
please answer "present."

"Crayton Adams."


Please answer "present."

Crayton Adams.


"Elias black."

It's Eli, and you bet
not call me Elias.

Rough room.

Thank you.

"O... la-fay-mee Dakar."

Olufemi, sister.

How about I just call you Lou?

You don't respect me enough
as a black man

to learn my name?

My... my mistake, olufemi.

Uh, "althea Hicks."


What was that?

Present, ma'am.

"Ron Jackson, Jr."

That's me, baby.

And looking at you

I know I'm going
to need extra attention.

"Raymond nile."

I'm Raymond.

Nice to meet you.

And... and it's a pleasure
to meet you too, Raymond.

He's only 12!

My name is...

Mrs. Gilbert-Wayne

and I'll be your substitute
teacher for the week.

Why is it necessary

to preserve not one
but two slave names?

If you're asking why
I have hyphenated my name

it's to preserve my identity

and still acknowledge
that of my hus...

Where's my purse?

Dang, girl, you ugly
in this picture.

Give me that wallet.

Don't you even try
to change the subject.

You ugly in this picture.


Well, guess what I found

in the little outline
I have for you?

You all have a test tomorrow
in your American history

so take out those books.

This one?

That would be the one.

No, man, I think
she means this one.

I got another one for you.

All right,
come on in here, chunky.


Yo, chunky!

The chunkster.

Sit down, frog boy.

I didn't realize it was so late.

Dorian, I had a really
great time tonight.

I was wondering when you
were going to ask me out.

You know, Lena

you could have
asked me out yourself.

I didn't want you thinking

I was jocking
the basketball star.

I would never think that.

Uh... maybe we should stop.

You're right, Lena.
We should.

I didn't mean right this second.

No, I'm sorry, Lena.

No, no, no, no.

Trust me.

It's quite all right.

Lena, wait.

I understand.

We'll take things slow.

You're right, we should
take things real slow

because sex is not
to be taken lightly.

That's one of the reasons

why I don't believe
in premarital sex.

Excuse me?

I said I don't believe
in premarital sex.

Oh, I get it.

Gina and Charmaine
put you up to this!


All right, y'all!

Y'all got me!

Wait, wait, Lena, Lena...

I'm serious.

Seriously, though,
I can't even...

No, wait a minute.

This changes things?

I don't know.

It's late, and I'll talk
to you about it tomorrow.

Good night.

Okay, here she comes.

Y'all remember what I said.

What happened yesterday
will not happen today.

What happened yesterday...

Will not happen today.

does not mean "stupid."

Now, you're in this class

'cause you can't act right
in your other class

and that will not
happen here today.

Yes, Ms. Gilbert-Wayne.

You're young adults,
and you will act as such.

Yes, ma'am.


Now, as I recall,
you have a test today

so let's start studying.

Open your books to chapter five.

What happened? What's wrong?


I'm sorry.

I heard silence.

Everything's fine.

They just needed
a little kick in the pants.

They usually kick back.

All right, class,
American history.

What began the civil...

I have finally found
my calling, Dwayne.

I marched in there

with fire in my eyes
and bass in my voice.

You should have seen
the principal's face.

Go on, baby.
I'm proud of you.

This one's not right.

This isn't right, either.

This one's going to need
a little tutoring, miss iesha.

She didn't like me at first,
but now we're bonding.

What's going on here?

What's the matter,
miss lean-on-me?

"Who alerted the Americans

that the British
were coming?"

"Peter Pan."

Wait a minute.

"What did
the American revolutionaries

throw into Boston harbor?"

"Your mama."

I hope she can swim.

They're all like this.

They set me up,
those little antichrists.

Principal Shaw,
miss maples told me

I could find you in here.

What are you doing?

I had a date to go dancing
with Denzel Washington

but I decided to cancel and do
the night sweep with this broom.

Grab that dustpan for me.

Um, why are you doing
the night sweeping?

Budget cuts, honey.

We only have one custodian.

He's got a bad back
and a good union.

So how did the first test go?

They didn't quite grasp
the material.

I was talking
about the test they gave you.

I failed miserably

which is why I feel it necessary
to tender my resignation.

Fine. Empty that
on your way out.

I'm sorry
if I've disappointed you.

You didn't. I knew
you wouldn't make it.

Well, who could make it?

This classroom is overcrowded.

The children are totally unruly.

We've got these old textbooks

with "I love the Bee Gees"
written all over it.

Got one little paragraph
about black people...

Says we were slaves

Martin Luther King
came and marched

and racism
is a thing of the past.

They teach us
we didn't even exist.

Oh, please.

You're lucky you have books.

Some classes don't.

The pocket change
they give this school...

We're lucky to have a place
for the kids to learn

and somebody to teach them.

With the few pennies that's left

I try to feed the kids
that don't get fed at home.

New and improved
is a luxury we can't afford.

How could you let this happen?

Excuse me, miss Joan of arc?

You're the one quitting

and after
a whole day and a half.


Well, I've been here 22 years.

I've watched teachers
like you come and go.

You complain, but you
don't solve the problems.

I saw your resume.

You're smart.

You don't like these books?

Why don't you
fill in the blanks?

There is no rule that says
teachers cannot be creative.

And you cannot get to the dawn

unless you make it
through the night.

Well, I guess that's a problem

for the next substitute.

Principal Shaw, can we at least
get some portable heaters here?

It's very chilly.

I'll wear a sweater.

So, did you hit that, or what?

Brother, I didn't try.

So you're going to play
that shy, sensitive role

while you're hitting
another honey.

I'm not hitting anything, man.
I'm not down with that.

What you down with?

I'm not knocking any boots
until I'm married.

Damn, man.

A brother could explode!

Look, man.

You could get hit
by a plane tomorrow.

You want to die
a virgin or a man?

Terrell, cut it out, man.

I mean,
sleeping with a hundred women

never made anybody a man.


No, but it sure do
make him happy.

Sick, man.

He's leaving.

I thought you would talk to him.

Sex is not a good enough reason
to lose a man like Dorian.

I don't know what to say, okay?

He probably thinks I'm a tramp.

Just as well.

You can't mix a Christian

with a heathen.

Excuse me.

I just got one thing to say.

I believe
in much premarital play.

Well, I hope
you like playing solitaire.


Ace, king, queen, Jack.

I'm telling you...

Here I was thinking
I was teaching you something

and you were pulling my leg
the entire time.

I used to get upset
when people say black people

didn't have anything to do

with the history
of this country.

That we were lazy.

That we weren't intelligent.

But after being with you
for a few days

who could argue?

But we never lose
our sense of humor.

Huh, Ron?

I mean, really.

"Aunt jemima invented
the cotton gin"?

That was a good one.

You're a regular
little flip Wilson.

But the one who takes the cake

is miss iesha.

Class, listen to this.

She did not get one answer
correct on this test.

Not one.

Isn't that funny?

I knew the answers.

Don't defend yourself.

You got a big, fat zero.

Being stupid is so funny.

I'm not stupid.

Number one, Stephen Douglas

two, Robert e. Lee,
three, Eli Whitney

and four,
the declaration of independence.

Number four is
the emancipation proclamation.


But I'm not stupid.

I know you're not stupid.

I also know why you don't want
to read this book.

'Cause this book teaches us
that we don't exist.

That we weren't a part
of American history.

This book doesn't teach us
the whole truth.

So why are we reading it?

Because it does give us
a foundation

and I guess I have
to fill in the blanks.

Why don't I teach you stuff
that's not in the book?

Like what?

Like, where do we come from?

Slavery, ma'am?

No. Africa.

From great civilizations

ruled by African
kings and queens.

He's absolutely right.

There was Hannibal,
chaka zulu, Cleopatra...


Cleopatra's white.

I seen her on cable last night.

No. You saw Elizabeth Taylor.

This is really Cleopatra.


For real?

For real.

Dang. Look
at all that gold.

That's where the rappers
get it from.


Lena, I need to talk to you.

I am so sorry
for walking off like that

the other day.

It's okay.

I forget what I said.


Lena, come here.

Only a cornball would give up

the chance to be
with you, right?

Then let's go.

Where we going?

My room.

Charmaine and Gina won't be back

for at least ten minutes.

No, wait.

Wait a minute.

I'm lying.

I know you are.

Look, Lena.

You see, fools like Terrell

they try to get
as much as they can

before they settle down.

On my wedding night

I want to give my woman
a gift no one else has had.

That's what I was taught

and that's what I believe.

If you can't respect that

then we'll just have
to be friends.

Wait a minute.

It might be nice

not to have to fight
a brother off

every five minutes.

But you have to promise

not to wear those
tank tops around me

because you look too good.

I'll try and remember that.

By the way, nothing
was really going to happen

just a minute ago.

Just want you to know that.


Really?! What kind of girl
do you think I am?

But it's nice to know
you're not after me

just for my body.

Help me, lord.

Damn. I'm good.

Take a look
at these test results.

Not one bad answer.

I didn't know that.


That your mama shot Abe Lincoln.

So I need a little
more time with them

but I did light a fire
under their little behinds.

Yes, you did, baby.

For that you get
one free massage.

I'm teaching them
all kinds of things...

Chaka zulu, toussaint...


Nat Turner, Cleopatra...

Okay, baby, be quiet.

This is professor Wayne's class.

And what are you
teaching me today?


That's my favorite subject...


All you have to do to get an "a"

is scream my name out loud.