Brooklyn Honors Spike Lee

Brooklyn Honors Spike Lee will be the first borough-wide celebration honoring the living legend. It is a multi-faceted tribute that invites the 5 Boroughs, and the world, to celebrate the breadth and scope of Lee's work while educating them about the impact he has had on popular culture. This multifaceted tribute is conceived by PlanIt Brooklyn. 

Lee's films have served as turning points for Brooklyn's neighborhoods and can be directly linked to the emerging cultural regeneration known as “The Brooklyn Renaissance”.

Marty Markowitz Proclaims June 30 “Spike Lee Day”

Dear Friends,

Brooklyn has long been renowned for the richness of its culture and artistic communities and for recognizing those distinguished and extraordinary individuals that create, support and promote artistic expression in Brooklyn, throughout New York and the world.  It is indeed a place where legends are made, and when a most exceptional individual graces the world with their talent, expanding minds, opening hearts and doors of opportunity, as is the case with Brooklyn’s son Spike Lee, it is only fitting that we pay him tribute.

It is with great pleasure that I join with all Brooklynites in honoring the incomparable Spike Lee on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of Do the Right Thing, a film that dared to challenge racial and cultural misconceptions.  As one of the Hollywood’s most influential filmmakers, Spike Lee has left an indelible mark on popular culture and has irrefutably placed Brooklyn solidly on the artistic map, cinematically depicting Brooklyn’s eclectic vibrancy, which surely encouraged and inspired a flood of artists that have contributed to “Brooklyn’s Renaissance.”

As we celebrate the life and work of Spike Lee – innovator, husband, father and icon to millions around the world – we acknowledge his unparalleled film career, and his multi-generational impact on the Brooklyn community carved out on the blocks, corners and stoops of our beloved borough that he has made famous.

On behalf of 2.6 million Brooklynites, I proclaim June 30, 2009 “Spike Lee Day,” in Brooklyn, USA.  I salute Sallome Hralima and Ashley Mui, of PlanIt Brooklyn, for spearheading this borough-wide event, and the sponsors and media partners for helping to make it all possible.  I congratulate Brooklyn’s son, Spike Lee, on the momentous occasion of the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking film, Do the Right Thing, and wish him many more years of sharing his immense talents with the world.

Marty Markowitz


All events are free


Opening Reception – We’ve Gotta Have It!: Art Inspired by Spike Lee

Thursday, June 25 6-9PM
Salena Gallery
Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University

The Man and the Brand: Spike Lee Panel

Thursday, June 25th 7-9 PM
Spike Lee Screening Room
Long Island University 1 University Plaza (corner of Flatbush and Dekalb Aves) Brooklyn, New York 11201<
Train directions: 2/N/Q/R/B/D/M



No Jheri Curls & No Drugs: A David Lee Photo Exhibit

Friday, June, 26 6-9PM
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
Train directions: 2/3/M/N/R

Buggin’ Out: Poetry Inspired by Spike Lee

Friday, June, 26 7-9 PM
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
Train directions: 2/3/M/N/R


He Got Game: Father & Son Basketball Tournament

Saturday, June 27, 5-9 PM
McLaughlin (Tillary) Park
Tillary St / Jay St / Cathedral Pl / Bridge St Brooklyn, NY
Train directions: A/C/F



We’ve Gotta Have It!: Art Inspired by Spike Lee.” 

This exhibit on June 25 6-9PM at the Salena Gallery Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University, launches the three celebration of the highly anticipated Brooklyn Honors Spike Lee tribute.  Transcending cultural boundaries, it showcases the work of a multitude of visuals artists Spike Lee has influenced. 

We’ve Gotta Have It!” provides the opportunity not only to showcase innovative artwork, but also to offer a public thank you to Spike Lee for his inspiration.


The Brooklyn Historical Society is proud to participate in this lively series of programs that recognize the profound impact of Spike Lee's work while celebrating his insights beginning in the 1980s through the present about Brooklyn's complicated cultural and social life

No Jheri Curls & No Drugs: A David Lee Photo Exhibit

Featuring forty-two photographs taken on and around the set of She's Gotta Have It, Spike Lee's first feature-length film, David Lee’s stills of children, brownstone-filled streets, and now blockbuster actors early in their careers serve as some of the most beautiful examples of his brother’s genius. The show is curated by Raquel Wilson. Friday, June, 26 6-9 PM at the Brooklyn Historical Society.

She's Gotta Have It tells the story of "a young, beautiful, sexually frank woman" struggling for independence and identity in a male-dominated society. The New York Times wrote that the film "ushered in the American independent film movement of the 1980s.

Spike Lee wrote and directed the film in 1986, which was shot in twelve days during the summer of 1985 on a budget of $175,000. Tracy Camilla Johns stars as the unforgettable Nola Darling. Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell as well as Spike play her suitors.

She's Gotta Have It was a groundbreaking film for African American filmmakers. It was a welcome change in the representation of blacks in American cinema. The highly stylized, black-and-white film featured a score by Lee's father, Bill Lee, who also scored many of Spike Lee's other films.

About the Photographer

David Lee has been photographing behind the scenes of his brother Spike Lee's films since Spike's first film, 1982's Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads.  David Lee's resume includes a number of other notable photographic work on a variety of film sets including: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, American Gangster and the first season of HBO's "The Wire."

David Lee's fine art portfolio has been shown at the Museum of the City of New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and Boston's Photography Resource Center.

Some of David Lee's work was included in "Songs of My People," a group show of works from 100 African American photographers that has traveled internationally.

All images in the exhibit are courtesy of and from the collections of David Lee and the 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks Archive.


Buggin’ Out: Poetry Inspired by Spike Lee

This event on Friday, June, 26 7-9 PM​ at the Brooklyn Historical Society will feature some of New York City’s hottest poets.  Poets who will participate include: kahlil almustafa, MrJeffDess, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, Adam Faulkner, Eboni, Ngoma Abena Koomson, Caits Meissner, Aaron Reid, and Mahogany Brown.

If you have seen “Do the Right Thing” you know that Spike Lee laced the movie with some of the most memorable lines and quotes of the 1980s. Spike Lee used soul-stirring language to connect with audiences via the characters Sweet Dick Willie, Pino, as well as Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. Buggin’ Out will demonstrate the impact of Lee’s films on the revived art of spoken word.


The Man and the Brand: Spike Lee Panel

Spike Lee Screening Room, Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University, Thursday, June 25, 2009, 7PM

A critically acclaimed panel that will discuss the indelible mark Spike Lee has made on popular culture. Panelists will include native Brooklyn actors, academicians, entertainers, television personalities, and entrepreneurs.


Do The Spike Thing: A Block Party

Secret Location, Brooklyn, Sunday, June 28, 2009, 2PM

Back in the day Spike Lee was known for throwing the most anticipated block parties in Brooklyn. Sign up to gain access to this event!


He Got Game: Father & Son Basketball Tournament

Tillary Park, Saturday, June 27, 2009, 5PM

This two-on-two tournament will include father (male guardian or mentor) and son teams (two-on-two) playing for the He Got Game Trophy.


NOTE: This page was reconstructed from the archived version of the site with additional content / images from other sources.