Do The Right Thing By Spike Lee

1845 words - 7 pages

The African-American inner city is a place where family can come in the form of gangs or collective areas, such as the pizzeria in the movie, Do the Right Thing, and yet these places and the people that find surrogate family in the inner city often only lead lives of violence. There is a common gathering place, in this case the pizza shop. Social networking happens in the streets and in the urban setting. There are many ethnic mixes, and in this case the Italian pizza shop is owned by Italian immigrants, and this is significant. Urban isolation, and the daily struggles and tension are a powerful part of, Do the Right Thing. The fights that erupt as the heat in the inner city rises, and so do tempers and frustrations. Spike Lee does a great job of revealing the realities of how harsh life in the inner city is for those who are in an urban jungle, and how that will shape their lives.
The inner city can be a good thing or a bad thing, for African Americans it is often a bad thing as they get caught up in gangs thinking that this is the only way they will have family. This is true in some aspects, because depending on the family, children can be abandoned due to drugs or be subject to violence. In the movie, one of the children, who lives around the pizzeria, is a little girl is abused at home. This often happens in broken homes, like the ones depicted by Spike Lee. In other cases children come from good homes. For example, if one comes from a prominent African American family, they know that everyone takes care of everyone, they work together to take care of each other. In the film, there are several older black men that act like grandfathers to the people on the block. This is reminiscent in of one of the class readings, Family Matters, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. tells about his grandfather. Gates writes, “My father’s father, Edward St. Lawrence Gates, known to his children and grandchildren as Pop had two hobbies. He was renowned for one of them in his home town of Cumberland, Maryland: he grew tulips “like a Dutchman”, people said, and he looked like a Dutchman too, “light, bright and damned near white” my father used to say.” (Gates, pp 188). One can find older African American like this today, but they are become less and less as the times change and more of them come from broken families. Gates goes on to suggests, “African American history is a young discipline; restoring the branches of even one black-family tree can profoundly change our understanding of the larger story of who African Americans people really are.” (Gates, pp 195). The author seems to think that if one learns about their past, it will help them build a brighter future.
There are many strong personalities in the film, and one of the hardest issues they are dealing with is the intensity of the heat. This tends to make tempers flare, and in the movie, this is exactly what happens. The city was so overcrowded, and the heat was building in the cement. There was nothing like a...

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