Spike Lee and Spike Jonze both have new films in theaters this fall. Two of today’s most innovative directors, they both have a distinctive style that sets them apart from men behind the camera of yesteryear. In addition to displaying aspects of the human condition, Jonze and Lee get to deliver it in ways Hollywood only, and never dreamed of. Before “Being John Malcovich” was released, there had never been a film quite like it. Once Lee made his way into the fray, more black people began working in the industry of film than ever before.
This past February, I used a photo of a stamp with the face of Paul Robeson as my “Profile Photo” on Facebook. Although his name is featured on the stamp, a few folks asked me who he was. I had just took it for granted that most people knew him or were aware. Growing up, I can remember seeing documentaries about him and hearing his name mentioned in multiple circles. For years, randomly in a particular setting, one might sing the words “Ol’ man river…” as a means of setting an oppressive tone for the conversation.