Oberlin’s annual celebration of black creativity features the Kuumba Week Film Festival. See five award-winning films that explore such themes as race, equity, activism, displacement, gender identity, and religion. Music—from rap to gospel—are also strong components of each film.
Filmmaker Spike Lee’s provocative and iconic movie, Do the Right Thing (1989), was released 30 years ago to wide acclaim and controversy (the media publicly speculated the film would incite violence). The movie explores how racial inequality drives conflict in a predominantly African American community on the hottest day of the summer.
Inspired by the racially motivated killings of a black man named Michael Griffith and an elderly black woman named Eleanor Bumpurs (shot by the New York Police Department), Do the Right Thing served and still serves as a window into a country that has historically devalued the lives of African Americans.
Lee’s masterwork remains profoundly relevant in 2019, considering the current racial and political climate.
Stay for the talkback with Oberlin Associate Professor of Africana Studies Charles Peterson, Professor of Theater Caroline Jackson Smith, and Farah Emeka ’97.