What may be considered the magnum opus of filmmaker’s Spike Lee’s career, his film Do the Right Thing turned 25 this year! Opening the discussion on race and socioeconomics as much as it does today as it did in 1989, in tribute to its legacy, a humble block party was held on the very same block filming took place on June 28, 2014.
In getting there, I had to travel all the way down to Borough Hall of Brooklyn and once in the borough, I took the B52 towards Stuyvesant. While Brooklyn has been incredibly white-washed and art school inclined for the media and through television shows like GIRLS, where the block party was being held in many ways feels like the real BK, the one we all remember or grew up around.
With the help of a kind elderly, I found my way to the block and there was music popping from a DJ as the event was sponsored by Beats by Dre, and there were activities for the locals courtesy of the New York Knicks. There were pictures from the film hung on the brownstones, as well a picture of the recently deceased actress Ruby Dee who was in the film. Towards the right end of the stage, Lee was taking pictures with fans, as many had some out in DTRT T-shirts that read “Boycott Sal’s” or had his character’s Mookie face on it.
Mainly, everyone was just enjoying the beautiful weather and the event felt very down to earth. While a tribute to the iconic film, the block party also felt like it was in tribute to the people of Brooklyn. I too was able to take a photo with Lee, but I didn’t have a chance to tell him I was proudly born and raised in his rival town of Boston, Massachusetts! (#BostonStrong!)
While I had to leave early, Public Enemy later on in the day had joined the event (they provided the film’s main tune of “Fight the Power” back then) and towards the end, there was the unveiling of the block’s new sign of Do The Right Thing Way.
And if you haven’t seen the film–SEE IT!
Below are some photos I took of the block party.