When I heard that Spike Lee was planing to do a sequel to “School Daze,” I cringed. I hate when directors essentially remake classic films. Leave it be! However, after hearing his reasons why he wanted to update the film, it might not be such a bad idea. Obviously, our culture has changed so much since the original film came out in the late 80’s. Not to mention the many changes at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Anti-blackness has grown worse since that time, even at HBCUs. Lee touched on this issue in the first film. It will be interesting to see how he handles the subject matter/expand on it. There are so many places to go with it now…
Lately, black folks have been hard on Spike Lee. I remember when Django Unchained came out last year, and Lee made it known he wasn’t feeling the movie. I remember a lot of my younger black Facebook friends, really going in on him. Someone even posted, “I loved Django. Spike Lee needs to shut the f*ck up.” I remember being shocked to read that.
Young black folks (and some older ones) don’t realize how much Spike Lee revolutionized black cinema. These folks were babies/not yet born when Lee debuted his film “She’s Gotta Have It.” Lee has made classic black films like “School Daze,” “Do The Right Thing,” and “Malcolm X.”
While I do think Lee could/should improve his representations of black women, I can’t bash the man. He has tried to show the humanity/complexity of black life. Who else could make a thoughtful film about the black survivors of Hurricane Katrina? Or the moving story of the murder of four little girls?
I also respect Lee for supporting Dee Rees making her film “Pariah.” I believe strongly that ALL black stories need to be told. It was progressive of Lee to support a film about a young black lesbian. The film was virtually ignored by black media/black celebrities. So, much props to Lee for putting himself out there.
Any who, I’m doing all this ranting because Lee is being featured on Oprah’s Next Chapter. Check it out, if ya can: