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The man we know as Spike was born Shelton Jackson Lee onMarch 20 1957 in Atlanta Georgia The first of five children hegot the nickname Spike from his mother for being a tough baby Spikes tendency to be difficult is one that goes right back to thecrib The infant Spike much like the man he grew into was smallbut loud The family he was born into was great for a number ofreasons His parents college educated newlyweds both camefrom families stressing creativity and black tradition Bill Lee Spikesfather was born in 1929 in Snow Hill Alabama He was a jazzcomposermusician nicknamed Bleek His mother JacquelynShelton Lee taught art and black history The Lees tried to instill asense of humor in their children along with educating them inblack culture They rationed the young ones TV time Forbaderock music In favor of jazz and folk and had each offspring learnto play a instrument Spike a shy quiet boy took guitar andpiano lessons He also played and loved every type of sport Spike denies that he ever had any thoughts of becoming a filmmaker in those early years Becoming one of very few black filmmakers has made Spike a black African American entrepreneurand has given many young black people something to believe inand strive for Spike Lee regions as one of the worlds mostcontroversial filmmakers thus contributing to the controversialissues in his films Movies have a way of enriching us like no otherart form They can change us touch us and influence us Theycan introduce us to foreign lands and foreign ideas At their best they can invite us to reconsider our point of view Spike Lee theacclaimed movie director producer writer actor is the mostinfluential filmmaker of his time His directing caused majorcontroversy in his early years but as he matured he began topresent his ideas more open-mindedly and tolerantly Hiscollection of films enrich us with new ways that we as a humanrace can learn to
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