Spike Lee comes to Hartford


Asia Arce, Editor in Chief

On March 20th, 1957, in “The People’s Republic of Brooklyn” as he calls it, Spike Lee was born. 62 years later, he has graced the people of Connecticut, by having a conversation with moderator Alison Stewart about his life and career. He came out in the most Spike Lee way possible- in a Nike tracksuit and a baseball cap with the year “1619” on it, recognizing the year when around 20 slaves were brought from Africa to Jamestown, Virginia. With the sound of roaring applause from the audience, Stewart starts the conversation by talking about his mother. A woman who forced Lee to become, “10 times better than his white classmates”. She consistently stressed the idea that he needed to overexcell in this country in order to be great.

By the time Lee finished his second year at Morehouse College, advisor told him to pick a major. So during that summer, on a random day, he visited one of his friends. While there, she gave him a camera and film, claiming she did not need it because she was going to be a doctor, not a filmmaker. Lee says, “I probably wouldn’t have been on this stage today if I hadn’t had seen her”. For the rest of that summer, Lee began to shoot everything he could on the streets of New York. The following semester, he took film classes at Clark Atlanta University where a professor told him that he could make a documentary with everything he filmed.

Stewart eventually moved the conversation towards, arguably, one of his most famous films, “Do the Right Thing”, and police brutality. Lee questioned the audience and asked, “How much progress have we made?,” with regards to a scene where a black character dies at the hands of police brutality. Lee continued to discuss politics with both Stewart and the crowd. When asked about the current government, Lee responded, “We have people in the government that just don’t care. I’m sorry if I curse, but that’s just bulls***”. He urged those to vote, to learn about politics, and have a want to make a change. By the end of his conversation with Stewart, everyone attending gave him one last roaring applause before he left the stage.