Tiffany L. Giles @02623399 Black Diaspora Shelton Jackson Lee, also known as "Spike Lee" was born on March 20, 1957 in Atlanta, GA. Spike Lee is one of the most famous African American filmmakers of all time. He is known for his innovative and groundbreaking films that uplift the African American community and define our culture. Lee is credited to be one of the most prolific African American artists of all time. From his extensive work in both television and film, Lee has given voice to race relations and issues both in America and abroad.
A native of Atlanta, Spike Lee was raised by a teacher and a musician along with his three younger siblings Joie, Cinique, and Davis. Both arts and education played a huge role in his upbringing. When Spike was very young his family moved to Brooklyn, New York. His mother encouraged her children to be aware of their African American identity and to explore Black literature and art as a means of expression. His father, an accomplished jazz musician, played a big role in Lee's love for jazz music, which is reflected in a lot of his work. He grew up being aware that his culture was his core. His mother gave him the nickname Spike as a credit to his toughness as a child. He then attended John Dewey high school, a public majority African American school in Brooklyn. From there he decided to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, following in the footsteps of his grandfather. He enrolled in the famous HBCU majoring in Mass Communications. Lee credits Morehouse for a lot of the inspiration for his films, including African American pride. During his undergraduate studies, he completed his first student film Last Hustle in Brooklyn. After graduating from Morehouse in 1978, he
enrolled in New York University's infamous Tisch School of the Arts to complete his masters in film. While enrolled at NYU, he wrote his senior thesis film, Joe's Bed Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads that would go on to win a Student Academy Award. Shortly...
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