This past weekend, Spike Lee’s latest joint, BLACKkKLANSMAN, produced by Jordan Peele, opened in theatres nationwide. The film is based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, the first African American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1978. The film, starring John David Washington (son of long-time Spike Lee collaborator Denzel Washington), won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival last May and received great reception from critics.
The film also ties in a number of references to racism in the Trump era, leaving you saying "did you catch that?!" in the theatre. BLACKkKLANSMAN also makes several direct references to the deadly white supremacist protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia; BLACKkKLANSMAN premiered on the 1-year anniversary of the protests.
Season two of the revival of She’s Gotta Have It, a modern twist on Spike’s sexy 1986 debut film of the same name, will be released on Netflix this fall. He also produced and directed a series of documentary shorts for Uber, Uber Presents Da Republic of Brooklyn. Spike’s recent projects have re-introduced Lee to a new generation.
While Spike is best known for his now classic films of the late 80s and 90s his production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced everything from commercials to documentaries in its 40-year history.
These are some of Spike Lee's most underrated works beyond Do the Right Thing (1989) and Malcolm X (1992)…
This satirical drama offers a social commentary on race in America in the early 21st century that is now more relevant than ever. Starring Damon Wayans, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Savion Glover, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Tommy Davidson, Paul Mooney, and Michael Rapaport.
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)
Four-part documentary series premiered on HBO, chronicles the experiences of various New Orleans residents during and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
This film, written by Spike's sister, Joi Lee, follows a family living in 1970s Brooklyn through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl named Troy. Starring Zleda Harris, Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, and Isaiah Washington.
4 Little Girls (1997)
This HBO documentary tells the true story of the four young African American girls who died in the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963. Commentary provided by many of the girl's parents, siblings, and childhood friends.
Get on the Bus (1996)
A group of black men from all walks of life travel by bus from Los Angeles, California to the 1995 Million Man March in Washington, D.C., organized by Minister Louis Farrakhan. Starring Ossie Davis, Hill Harper, Bernie Mac, Isaiah Washington, Wendell Pierce, and Harry Lennox.