Filmmaker Spike Lee gave a short history of his ancestors’ rise from slavery to him standing on the stage at the Academy Awards, accepting an Oscar, during his speech. But it was his call for mobilization that drew loud cheers from the audience.
“For 400 years, our ancestors were stolen from Africa and brought to Virginia and enslaved,” Lee said. “They worked the land from ‘can’t see’ in the morning to ‘can’t see’ at night. My grandmothers — who lived 100 years young, a college graduate even though her mother was a slave — my grandmother, who saved 50 years of Social Security checks to put me through college. She called me Spiky-poo.”
He recalled that it was her who put him through film school at NYU.
“Before the world tonight, I give praise to my ancestors who built our country, along with the genocide of our native people,” he continued. “We all connect with ancestors, to regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize, let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. let’s do the to get that in there.”
This was the first Oscar for Lee, winning in the screenwriting category for his latest film “BlacKkKlansman.”