25 years ago it became cool to walk around blasting hip hop through the boombox hoisted up on your shoulders. 25 years ago a film was made to highlight some of the many racial tensions in just one New York neighborhood. 25 years ago Smiley set fire to his pizzeria and I’m pretty sure the nickname Mookie became cool.
That’s right, this past Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Spike Lee’s controversial and profound film, Do The Right Thing. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams designated June 30th as “Do The Right Thing Day” during a Borough Hall ceremony in which the film was praised for showcasing the many racial issues of the time (which are actually still current issues).
The film depicted one extremely hot day in the often notorious (yet still historically and culturally rich and all around amazing) neighborhood as tensions rose to a climactic finish.
The first Do The Right Thing Day will be this Monday, and will be preceded by a block party in Bed Stuy area, which Spike plans to emcee on Stuyvesant Avenue between Quincy and Lexington Avenues.
Let’s all hope Spike has at least a mini gentrification rant for our edutainment and make sure you make your way down if you happen to be in the area!