Celebrating creative black trailblazers for #BHM; meet…
Name: Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee
Born: March 20, 1957. Atlanta, Georgia (US)
Creative Discipline: Film Director, Producer, Writer, and Actor
Known for: Lee's movies have examined race relations, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues. His production company, ‘40 Acres & A Mule’ Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983.
He was born to Jacqueline Carroll (née Shelton), a teacher of arts and black literature, and William James Edward Lee III, a jazz musician and composer. When he was a child, the family moved to Brooklyn, New York. When he was a child, his mother nicknamed him "Spike."
Lee enrolled in Morehouse College, a historically black college, where he made his first student film, Last Hustle in Brooklyn. He took film courses at Clark Atlanta University and graduated with a B.A. in Mass Communication from Morehouse. He did graduate work at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Film & Television.
Spike Lee has a wife called Tonya, who is an attorney, together they have two children, a boy and a girl, the eldest of which is about to turn 18. Lee is a fan of the American baseball team the New York Yankees, Basketball Team the New York Knicks, and the English football team Arsenal, (can’t win them all!).
In 1985, Lee began work on his first feature film, “She's Gotta Have It”. With a budget of $175,000, he shot the film in two weeks. When the film was released in 1986, it grossed over $7,000,000 at the U.S. box office.
In mid-1990, Levi's began producing a series of TV commercials directed by Lee for their 501 button fly jeans.
Marketing executives from Nike offered Lee a job directing commercials for the company. They wanted to pair Lee's character, the Michael Jordan-loving Mars Blackmon, and Jordan in a marketing campaign for the Air Jordan line.
Later, Lee was called on to comment on the controversy surrounding the inner-city rash of violence involving youths trying to steal Air Jordans from other kids. He said that, rather than blaming manufacturers of apparel that gained popularity, "deal with the conditions that make a kid put so much importance on a pair of sneakers, a jacket and gold"
Lee has won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award. He has also received two Academy Award nominations.
Article by Lucy G / 5th October 2012
Leave a comment