Spike Lee: Lifting As He Climbs
The photo above has been circling around the internet for years. It shows Black Hollywood men right before reaching their prime. From left to right, it’s Laurence Fishburne, Michael Wright, Wesley Snipes And Denzel Washington. All were friends and still friends to this day. But what’s the story behind it?
Well, it seems as though one person is truly the glue that brought all these folks together: Spike Lee.
Yes, that same Spike Lee who just won his first Oscar for the critically-acclaimed film, BlackkKlansman, has been behind the scenes helping some of the most sought-after actors and actresses of color.
Spike has directed and/or produced movies that all of these actors have been in at one time or another. Both Denzel and Wesley were in “Mo’ Better Blues.” Spike directed Laurence Fishburne in “School Daze.” And never got the chance to work with Michael Wright directly, but has influenced his career immensely.
Taking a look back, it all started with a get-together many now-famous actors called the Spike Lee summer film camp. It was a time where Spike hosted and created workshops for African American actors, directors, cameramen, cinematographers, and more to help them learn how to work in films. It wasn’t done for notoriety or fame, just out of his love to see Black people succeed in the entertainment industry.
There are a lot of people that have come out of what Spike started and allowed Black men and women to learn how to work in films.
In fact, in 2016 at Spike Lee’s honorary Oscar ceremony, Denzel Washington stated that “Spike Lee has put more African Americans to work in the business than anyone else in the history of this business.”
See video below:
This photo was taken after one of the “summer camps.” Actor Samuel L. Jackson goes into a little more detail about his when introducing Spike Lee at the ceremony.