Spike Lee Admiration Speech
Growing up in Brooklyn New York, Shelton Jackson Lee was aware of his African-American identity; this was due to him being instilled to read black art and literature at an early age and it led to him attending black schools in his early preschool days and to majoring mass communications in college. After the death of the person that gave him the nickname Spike, his mother, Lee's friends tried to cheer him with trips to movies. Through the movies he watched the inspiration to make films came, but not just any film, he wanted to make films that would capture the African-American experience by any means necessary. Subsequently, he enrolled in the Tisch School of Arts graduate film program to pursue his film career.
In order to get his master's degree in Tisch, Spike produced Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, a film with a length of forty-five minutes, and won 1983 Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Student Academy Award. With the degree in hand, Spike continued off pursuing his dream as an indie filmmaker, meaning, he produced films without the assist of big film production companies like Fox or 20th Century Pictures. Three years later after his proud accomplishment another accomplishment arrived. He scored a surprised hit from She's Gotta Have It. Despite being handled by an indie filmmaker, and only having a budget of 175,000 dollars, the film grossed over seven million. With the success of She's Gotta Have it, Spike Lee was already recognized as a notable director in the film industry despite being an indie filmmaker. In 2017, a series was produced based on the successful film. Another major hit of Spike Lee's was a musical film called School Daze. Not only that the movie was a success, it also explored and exposed the discrimination within the African-American community, as it centers around Lee's years at college. Exploring more of these racial tensions was Do the Right Thing which starred Lee himself as a director and an actor. In later parts of the film, it comes to a head in violence and death, sending a message to the audience that violence could be caused by having difference of skin color. Spike Lee did not stop sending the message just yet; years later, Clockers was produced, making more statements about violence and other negative conditions facing the African-American community. And several more years later, he produced BlacKkKlansman, his latest film to date released in 2018. Without spoiling the movie much, there is a reason why this film went on to make him win the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Shelton Jackson Lee, Spike Lee, I see his name everywhere; from the movies I watch, He Got Game, to the games I play, NBA 2k16's story mode: Livin' Da Dream. Seeing his name regularly made me curious about his life, and this research gave me more opportunity to do so. I have mad respect for him for not being ashamed of his identity, something I want to do for myself someday. I also have mad respect for him being determined to pursue his dream and living through it, something I also want to do for myself someday. Obviously, my opinion of him is really high. Spike Lee achieved his dream to become a filmmaker and achieved his dream to capture the African-American, including his own, experiences in his films. Through his films, the view of indie films and racial representation evolved for the better.
"Spike Lee." UXL Biographies, UXL, 2011. Gale In Context: Middle School, apps/doc/EJ2108101355/MSIC?u=nysl_li_valleysc&sid=MSIC&xid=a8f54ce4. Accessed 10 Feb. 2020.