On this day, director, producer and writer Spike Lee was born in Atlanta. Born Shelton Jackson Lee, he became an amateur filmmaker by the time he turned 20 and would go on to create an impressive catalog of groundbreaking films, including She’s Gotta Have It (1986) and Do the Right Thing (1989). The latter centered on increasing racial tensions in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, and Lee was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1990. He is known for his often-controversial and provocative films that explore the intricacies of race relations, urban violence and politics.
Most recently, Spike directed the Netflix hit Da 5 Bloods, which featured Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Mélanie Thierry, Isaiah Witlock Jr. and the late Chadwick Boseman, among others. His 2018 film BlacKkKlansman was also critically acclaimed and was nominated for six Academy Awards and won for Best Adapted Screenplay.