True Story of Blind Side Is Uplifting, but Not Unique

There's a lot of Michael Ohers out there
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2010 1:36 PM CDT
True Story of Blind Side Is Uplifting, but Not Unique
Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher signs autographs for fans in August.   (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock scored big at the box office with its true-life tale of a poor black teenager taken in by a white family who ends up in the NFL. "The remarkable thing about The Blind Side, though, isn't that it's based on a true story," writes Josh Levin at Slate. "It's that the real Michael Oher is not unique." He's found more than two dozen similar stories just on web searches and word of mouth.

Says Michael Lewis, author of the book on which the movie was based: "Maybe I stumbled onto it because it happens so often." Levin explores the phenomenon, in which the narratives follow a familiar pattern: "Black athlete meets white family, flourishes on account of the added support, and everyone lives happily ever after." Or, as one critic puts it, "whiteys are virtuous saviors, coming to the rescue of African-Americans who become superfluous in narratives that are supposed to be about them." Click here for the fuller take. (Read more Michael Oher stories.)

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