Director Spike Lee is taking a page out of comedian Bill Cosby’s playbook.
The man who gave us “Do the Right Thing” and “He Got Game” is talking up the power of getting a good education and how the media makes gangster life far too appealing. Cosby said essentially the same thing a few years back, but members of the black community didn’t take kindly to the veteran comic’s message.
Despite 100 years of slavery, our ancestors were smart enough to know that education would be the thing to lead us out of bondage,” he said. “At a time when to learn to read and write was against the law for African-Americans, our ancestors risked life and limb to learn.”
He spoke of his parents’ and grandparents’ generations greatest mantra: “Education is the key.”
Then, he asked the crowd how, with such a rich history, fewer than half of Black males graduate from high school in America.
Lee blamed the influence that crack cocaine has had in poor neighborhoods and the influence that media have had in glorifying drugs and gangsters, whom he said are primarily portrayed by Black actors.
“I am from the pre-crack generation. When I was growing up, we never, ever, never ridiculed someone because they were a good student,” he said.
Read the rest of Lee’s comments here.