We’re so proud of Spike Lee. While external awards are not always key to validation, there’s something to be said about watching one of the most influential directors in our community be rewarded after three decades of work, commitment, and dedication to telling our stories.  Lee won an Oscar for best-adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman” and delivered an acceptance speech that gave us chills.

In honor of this show-stopping moment and speech, three Creatives share how they came to know this Oscar award-winning director.

“My earliest memories of Spike Lee involve walking past his 40 Acres and Mule studio in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and whispering to my mom about what we thought was going on inside. As a kid, it wasn’t really about who Spike Lee was but about the sacred space he made in media for a borough we both called home. I’m from Bed-Stuy and I loved nothing more than seeing how he’d translate the magic of what I lived every day to what I saw on my tv screen (shout outs to Crooklyn!) He didn’t just create ‘movie magic’ for me, he amplified the stories of the people I care about the most.

To be honest, I could write a book about how much he’s inspired me as a director, but at the core I’m more than grateful to experience Spike as a neighborhood, an artist and in the midst of gentrification, a real-life manifestation of where Brooklyn’s at.”

Asha, Filmmaker and Non-Profit Founder | Brooklyn, NY

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“My first intro to Spike Lee was Do The Right Thing. I was completely blown away by this masterpiece film. What blew me away about Do The Right Thing was the storytelling and how the message was relevant. 30 years later, the message of it is still relevant. Then it followed with Malcolm X, Crooklyn, and He Got Game. I also enjoyed his documentaries 4 Little Girls, When the Levees Broke, If Got Ain’t Willing Da Creek Don’t Rise, Bad 25 and Journey From Motown To Off The Wall. A legendary filmmaker.”

Jeremy Horn, Content Manager & Graphic Designer | Chicago, IL

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She Hate Me was my first intro to Spike. Relevant topic, may have been too young to fully grasp what was going on, but his style got me hooked. Red Hook Summer didn’t get enough credit or clout. But that one hit a special and personal spot for me. Never seen anything like it. Left the theater shocked.

I grew up a preacher’s kid. A lot of people in the church are hurt, but it’s being masked by tradition. Also, every pastor in the pulpit ain’t a saint. We all got issues, and some folks need more than prayer, they need professional help. It was the first movie and only movie I’ve see to address what I had questions about in the church, the pain church can bring, and how the church operates. It didn’t hit everything, but it hit enough. And that climactic scene at the end was PERFECT. Truly unforgettable.”

Richard White, Podcaster, “The People You Meet” | Oakland, CA

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