Spike Lee Says Educated Blacks Should be Icons

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.

Filmmaker Spike Lee told a college audience that the value of education is being overshadowed by the images gangsta rap glorifies.

“Young Black kids didn’t grow up wanting to be a pimp or a stripper like they do now,” Lee said of his youth in Brooklyn.

Lee drew two standing ovations as a featured speaker at Middle Tennessee State University’s second biennial Internal Conference on Cultural Diversity last week.

He urged the college students to figure out a way to make being educated cool again.

“Back then, we were not called sellouts for using our brains. And being intelligent was not frowned upon,” Lee said.

He likened the images from some rap videos to the distorted view minstrel shows of the 19th century gave most of the world about American Blacks.

Lee said he tried through his films, which include “School Daze,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Jungle Fever,” and “Malcolm X,” to show the diversity of the Black experience.

He is now working on a documentary about Hurricane Katrina.

Associated Press



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