Yep, it's been 20 years since we all headed to theaters to check out Do the Right Thing. Back then Spike Lee movies were Events, almost sacred rituals that united all corners of the black community. On June 30, 1989, whether you lived in a big city or small one, down South or in the Midwest, everybody came out to witness Spike Lee's latest joint.
Since then black cinema has evolved. Many more black film directors are distributed nationally, and Spike himself has tackled a range of topics beyond the borders of the black community. But back in 1989—what a visually rich look at the times we had! This week, The Root is celebrating this milestone with a weeklong series of essays, video, galleries, and interactive games celebrating the cultural impact of the film. We will cap off this series with a provocative interview between The Root's Editor-in-Chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Spike Lee that will be sure to have folks talking.
We have plans to host an outdoor screening in the Washington, D.C. area. Even if you can't make to our screening, there's no reason why you can't celebrate with your own Do the Right Thing house party. Print out these downloads. Call over your friends, then relive the moment when African medallions reigned, dayglo spandex was the hype, and no one dared smudge your Nike Air Jordans.
Natalie Hopkinson is the associate editor of The Root.
Start planning your 'Do the Right Thing' @ 20 house party with these free downloads!
To read the rest of The Root’s Do the Right Thing @ 20 coverage, play Raheem's Radio.
Natalie Hopkinson is a Washington, D.C.-based author whose current projects deal with the arts, gender and public life. She is the author of Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City. Follow her on Twitter.