Acclaimed screenwriter, director, actor and poet Spike Lee offered advice about life and career decisions to a standing room only crowd at the Cox Auditorium at UT Monday night. The event was hosted by the Black Cultural Programming Committee, the UT Film Committee and Minority Student Affairs.
Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee, known for ground-breaking films and documentaries like Malcolm X and When the Levees Broke, directed the crowd of students and general public to do something with themselves. He emphasized the importance that his education played in his life, and encouraged students to keep their grades up and always do the right thing.
Lee spoke about growing up in a Brooklyn neighborhood where film-making was not the most well-accepted trade to follow. He studied at Morehouse College and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication.
Lee placed great emphasis on the idea of finding one's passion in life.
"I was very lucky because I found out before it was too late what I love," he said. "I repeat - I found out what it is I love."
"When you do what you love, it's not work. Work is going to a job you hate," he added.
Speaking mostly to the students in the crowd, Lee continued his lecture by telling students to think of the future, graduation and job-searching everyday. Lee said decisions made during college can often have future ramifications.
With the immense success of his Hollywood film career, Lee gave insight into his film making decisions. He said that for his film career, he was inspired to go out into the country to represent the diversity of the African-American spirit.
"I didn't become a filmmaker to become famous," he said. "I didn't become a filmmaker to be wealthy. I became a filmmaker because I love filmmaking."
Lee also commented on the idea that media and reality type shows have given young people the wrong idea about how life really operates. Reality shows, he said, teach people that laziness will result in a quick buck with no work involved.
"I don't care what you want to do," Lee said. "You have to work."
Staying vigilant and strong was a continuous undercurrent in Lee's lecture, and he further admonished that college is the time when a person must take some initiative in life, maybe for the first time.
Lee concluded with the thought that there are always repercussions to the choices that people make, which is a main idea in his films.
Thank TNJN.com for the story.