ResearhProject6 - Nelson 1 Alfred B Nelson Ms Margolies...

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Nelson 1 Alfred B. Nelson Ms. Margolies English 12 AP April 9 th , 2007 Spike Lee: African-American Director and Screen Writer Shelton “Spike” Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia on March 20, 1957 from William Lee and Jacqueline Lee (IMDB, Thomas). Shelton's nickname “Spike” comes from his mother when she described Shelton as a “tough baby” ("Spike Lee - Biography”). Jacqueline Lee, an art teacher, and William Lee, a jazz composer, provided Shelton with living in middle class African-American neighborhoods. Shortly after Lee was born, he and his family moved to Chicago, and finally Brooklyn, New York where Spike Lee spent the rest of his childhood (Thomas). By growing up in Brooklyn having parents that worked in visual and audio arts, Lee was heavily influenced by both subjects. After finishing Dewey High School, Lee went back to Atlanta to attend historically black Morehouse College. Following his father and grandfather by attending the same school, Lee went on to receive a degree in mass communications. Soon after graduating from Morehouse, Lee attended New York University's Institution of Film and Television where he would receive a master's degree in film making in 1982 (Gale). Lee's graduation film project, Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads which offered “a raw look at what really happens in barbershops,” earned him a 1983 Student Academy Award in student production (Terell,"On the path to create a school of thought.(Gregory Javan Mills of the New York State Black Film Archive)."). This film began Spike Lee's director and screen writing career which he would go on to create effective, controversial films that would focus on revealing the realities of racial tension primarily between African-Americans and other races as well as racial ideals towards other
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Nelson 2 races. Lee's graduation project grabbed attention of two talent agencies which he had little success with. The fame he recently gathered was good for his growing persona however, it did not provide him with funds to live off of. So Lee began raising funds for a film titled Messenger
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