Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee Essay

Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee Essay

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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 M...


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... the beginning of their Civil Rights careers. In the end both were assassinated, and Malcolm was shot by a black activist who did not like his move away from his original ideas on violence, which changed when he became a Muslim.
In conclusion, this film gives one a sense of what it is like in the inner city for all races. Spike Lee shows how the “ghettos” can become a destructive place and bring an end to many innocent lives. Do the Right Thing, sends this message to viewers, despite the harsh conditions that surround those in the film.
























Works Cited
Do the Right Thing. Dir. Spike Lee. Perf. Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee. 1989. Universal
Pictures. Film
Gates, H. Family Matters. 2009. Best American Essays. Class Readings 2014
Conley, D. Race the Power of an Illusion, 2003, Interview with Dalton Conley, Class Readings
2014

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