Tuesday, April 26, 2011

For Daze

Right on! I'm in the middle of Kaleem Aftab's book about Spike Lee called, "That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It". So far, it's purty much about Spike's rise to fame, as an African-American filmmaker during the 1980's & '90's. This was just as Hip Hop was braking out of the ghettos, and emerging as a force to influence global culture. But Spike's focus remained on the politics & dynamics of race in America, specifically as it affects Black Americans.

School Daze (1988) - Trailer by Melvin-X

I love racism, expecially intra-racial kine. And Spike's second movie "School Daze" was probbly the first to turn me onto it. It's about students at Mission University, an all-Black college. But contrary to popular belief, they DO NOT all look alike. In fact, they segregate themselves - get this - along colour lines! The dark-skinneded "Jigaboos" flaunt their heritage by wearing their hair nappy & natural. The light-skinneded "Wannabes" iron their hair & bleach it, and even wear coloured contacts.

School Daze: Good or Bad Hair

The movie also depicts a conflict between Black Nationalists protesting the school's non-involvement with African politics, versus Gamma Phi Gamma fraternity & their disinterest in the issue. I think. I gotta watch it again. But I love how Black people avoid violence, and like break dancing, express their rivalries thru art. School Daze was the first time I ever seen Step Dancing, too.

School Daze Step Show

I don't know how come the guy at the beginning of the clip above is holding a shaka. Maybe it's a shout out to Shaka Zulu? The weirdest thing about this scene, is how it starts off with - and even has a sign saying - "Ice Ice Baby". How insulting must it have been for the Whitest Rapper to go worldwide with a hook stolen from a Spike Lee Joint?

I still haven't seen all of his films, but I love how Spike Lee gets us to rethink about the way we live and understand things in America. Who would have thought he was a fan of musicals? He's not haole, female, or gay. Talk about braking stereotypes. But of course he lives upp to one in a big way. Spike Lee likes to watch girls with large asses shake them. With his East Coast pre-cursor to Baby Got Back, E.U.'s go go classic "Da Butt" became a dance sensation across the nation, thanks to School Daze, and Spike's video for the track.

EU - Da Butt 1988

I'm only halfway thru the book, so I don't know how he dies (or is he in jail?), but I think Spike would be happy about the progress we've made in America, when it comes to race. We have a mostly Black family in the White House, and Copper Cab has apologized for slavery (on MLK Day ~ how symbolic). I think we can all just get along now.

Apology For Slavery

Wake Upp!

1 comment:

Violetta said...

Best. Apology. Ever.