Spike Lee: Creative Sources @The Brooklyn Museum

I’ve been a fan of Spike Lee for many years. He’s someone who, although, wasn’t born there, he was raised in BROOKLYN and he Reps our Boro just as hard as I do! He has brought a lot of amazing things to the black culture and has set many milestones. He is a very humbled creator. Spike Lee is the reason for a lot of black actors and actresses’ success. As a movie director, producer, writer and actor, amongst other titles, he has brought awareness to things done wrong to and in, our black communities. He is college educated and has done over 30 films. Spike Lee has also been nominated for many awards and has won some.

I was excited to catch his Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum during its final weekend in February 2024. I traveled from Virginia to Manhattan, then caught the subway, the C-train, to the Brooklyn Museum. I was glad there weren’t many people visiting this exhibit at the time which was the plan and why I chose to go on a week day during the morning because people are at work.

This exhibition was divided into 7 rooms; over 400 items from Spike Lee’s Personal Collection. The rooms were colorful and gave us a different time line of Spike Lee’s life. I loved how each room told a story. His Family, Music, Film, Sports. BROOKLYN!..

We all know Spike Lee is a HUGE KNICKS Fan and a Prince and Michael Jackson Fan and was great friends to both Legends (RIP) and i’m sure knows and has met EVERYONE Ever involved with the KNICKS, lol. If we know nothing else, we know these things to be a fact so of course he had dedicated rooms.

The sports room was blue and it had jerseys hanging from the ceiling and on the wall. There were news articles, Signed Jerseys from legendary players, pictures with players in various sports. Serena Williams in Tennis, Kobe (RIP) in Basketball. Jackie Robinson (BROOKLYN DODGERS) in Baseball. Mohamed Ali in Boxing. It was all so dope.

The MUSIC room was Pink. Outside there was a description which read:

“Music has always been critical for Spike Lee, whose mother loved musicals. He carefully constructs his soundtracks with collaborators, resulting in memorable scenes like the opening sequence of Do The Right Thing (1989), which immediately contextualizes the film’s setting in BROOKLYN through music created in the borough.”

That’s what I appreciate most about Spike Lee’s films, for me they’re relatable because they’re set in Brooklyn and the added sounds set a whole vibe that makes me feel like I am a part of any of his films. Room #6 – Music – had a head statue of Prince. Before Prince died, he gave a guitar to Spike Lee. That was available to see as well. This room had Diana Ross, a photographic print of the original album cover of Michael Jackson’s, BAD (Circa 1987). Acrylic canvas of The Jackson Five. There was a poster of John Coltrane. Pictures of Duke Ellington,  “45” records of Marvin Gaye. LP music from DO THE RIGHT THING, SHES GOTTA HAVE IT (1986), MO’BETTA BLUES(1990), a 12-inch single of “DA BUTT” from the movie, SCHOOL DAZE (1988). *Add Excited Scream here*

There were mannequins dressed up in attire worn by Spike Lee himself. Because Spike Lee is a supporter of Black Creatives, in 2021, he collab’d with Virgil Abloh (RIP), who at the time was Louis Vuitton’s 1st Black Artistic Director; to create a wardrobe to wear when he, (Spike Lee), was honored as thEE 1st Black President of the “Cannes Film Festival” jury. He had Jordan sneakers from Michael Jordan and NIKE. There were jackets and handwritten scripts from films that came to fruition. This exhibit also had posters that were in various movies as props. Pictures and ticket stubs from awards and even some of the awards he’s won. You can tell Spike Lee is a long time movie lover. I was in awe of this collection. If you have seen his films then you know there is always a strong presence of Blackness.

The “Family” room was filled with pictures of a younger Spike Lee, his mom and dad. His siblings, who by the way, have been in a few of his films. His grandparents, his wife and kids. He comes from a very strong background. Talent and education runs in his family.

Of course there was a room dedicated to BROOKLYN! There were a ton of artifacts and memorabilia from DO THE RIGHT THING (1989). This movie changed my life somewhat because when this released I was living in a White neighborhood, Sheepshead Bay (Booklyn). I was 12 and was just getting familiar being around non-Black and Hispanic people. All my life before that I lived in East New York, Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant aka BED-STUY, DO OR DIE! LG to be exact! So it was definitely a huge change in my life.

When you watched a SPIKE LEE JOINT like DO THE RIGHT THING, it allowed BROOKLYN to be its own character. This movie was relatable for me. I learned how serious racism was in real time.

This room had the Bklyn Dodgers jersey Spike Lee wore in the movie. The T-shirt Radio Raheem (RIP Bill Nunn) wore, too. There was even a Pizza box from SAL’s PIZZA.

“Brooklyn has been a core of Spike Lee’s work since his earliest projects as a student at NYU Graduate Film School.”

Spike Lee’s love of BROOKLYN was all over this room. Spike Lee still lives in Brooklyn by the way. It’s very easy to run into him from time to time. His production company, ‘40 Acres & a Mule‘, has become a staple in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. He throws a dope ass Block Party every Summer in honor of Michael Jackson and Prince. He’s been a commentator for his friends, like, Will Smith, when he was on his book tour for, “WILL”. He has a HBCU Program, and yall really have to check him out and see the amazing things he has going on and coming up in 2024 and beyond. (OfficialSpikeLee)

If you missed the chance to see this Exhibit, you missed something wonderful. If you were able to catch it, I’m sure you understand why I’m unable to explain into more word how Dope it was but I know you can read the excitement in my voice. *Please leave a comment on your experience if you were able to see it.*

THANK YOU for Reading. Don’t forget to Tell a Friend to Tell a Friend. Be sure to follow me on Social Media – @BklynTyeNYC so you can see more pictures and videos as well as the great events and exhibits and shows and restaurants,,, I will be attending in the future. I have many things happening in 2024 so check me out.



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