Me and Spike Lee Do the Right Thing


I didn’t know June 30 was the 20th anniversary of Do The Right Thing when I ran into Spike Lee at the Root’s Inauguration Ball, but I knew it had to be coming up, right? Not for nothing, the sneaker-freaks went bonkers a few years ago for the Jordan Spiz’ikes, paying up to $1000 for the limited-edition varsity True Blue colorway with the Spiz’ike logo on the heel, a duplicate of Buggins Out's famously insulted Jays.

I didn’t pay $1000, but I’m silly enough to have copped a pair for a price I’m too embarrassed to report. I spent weeks hunting down the real McCoys, and paid too much money for my joints to even wear them. So the Spiz’ikes hold a place of honor in my home, hanging alongside my limited edition Warhol Ali Adidas Boxing Boots.  Down the road, I might wear them on a special occasion. Like my daughter’s wedding. But I just had to have ‘em.


It was important to me to own them because Do the Right Thing was such a great film —- rarely is art so relevant.  At one time, there were two types of black people: conscious people who had seen Do The Right Thing and them other niggas. I can’t name another film that accurate captures the temperature of race relations in my generation. I will be That Dude to cop the DVD when it drops. You’d think a dude like Spike would be pumping his own stuff all the time, but he was mellow, standing there at the Root Ball chopping it up with y’boy.  I was gonna keep looking for my date, but I decided to pause and make this my Spike Lee moment… maybe he'll play along and give me a scene from the script.

I looked Spike dead in the eye and steadied myself. “C'mere, Doctor,” I said. “Doctor, this is Da Mayor talkin'.” He smiles.

“Ok, ok.”

“Doctor,” I say, with my best Ossie Davis eyes. “Always do the right thing.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s It.”

“I got it,” he says, giving me a grip. “I’m GONE.”

How did "Do The Right Thing" impact your life?

Single Father, Author, Screenwriter, Award-Winning Journalist, NPR Moderator, Lecturer and College Professor. Habitual Line-Stepper