When it comes to classic Black movies from the 1980s, you can’t forget about Do The Right Thing.
Fresh off She’s Gotta Have It and School Daze, Spike Lee hit the jackpot again with the film set in his native of Brooklyn, New York. The 1989 film follows Lee’s character, Mookie, amidst a blistering heatwave as he works at an Italian pizzeria where interactions with the owner’s racist lead to tension. While documenting just another summer in the neighborhood, everything comes to a head when the pizzeria’s wall of fame doesn’t include any Black patrons. Mookie’s friend Radio Raheem demands the photos be changed, but the altercation ends with the cops being called and Raheem being killed after an officer puts him in a chokehold.
The film may be over 30 years old, but it’s more relevant than ever before, so we got the homies Mouse Jones and Beanz to chop it up about why it needs to be added to your queue.
“The legendary film explores how racial inequality has driven conflict within a predominantly African-American neighborhood on the hottest day of the summer, which sounds unfortunate but also sounds like today,” admits Mouse.
Mouse has a special place in his heart for Brooklyn, but being a native, Beanz explains what the movie means to him.
“I’m born and raised in Flatbush, and it really breaks down the racial dynamic in some Brooklyn neighborhoods. You can literally walk on one block, and there’s nothing but Black folks, but then the next block is all Italians, and the block after that is Chinese,” explains Beanz. “But in some places, it’s a melting pot, and those other nationalities open businesses in Black neighborhoods because they know we’ll rely on them more. Everything from restaurants to dry cleaners, nail salons, and jewelry stores but none of this stuff is owned by us, so that movie perfectly encapsulates that dynamic.”
Watch Mouse and Beanz talk about memorable scenes like when Buggin’ Out painfully got his Air Jordan 4s stepped on, Martin Lawrence character’s infamous lisp, the importance of the boombox era, and more in the latest episode of the CASSIUS Summer Movie Guide up top.
Summer Movie Guide: Why Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” Is Just As Relevant Now As It Was In 1989 was originally published on cassiuslife.com