Iconic director Spike Lee celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his classic film “Do The Right Thing” by holding a block party right in the Brooklyn neighborhood where it was filmed. In 1989 the racially charged film starring Danny Aiello,Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, and Samuel L. Jackson opened head up against the first “Batman” film and garnered two Academy Award nominations for Lee.
Thousands converged on the corner of Stuyvesant and Lexington to see where “Mother Sister” held court in her window and “We Love Radio” was broadcast. Brooklynites and visitors danced and sang along to music spun by DJ Spinna, DJ Parler and DJ Scratch while familiar faces like Dave Chappelle, Erykah Badu, Yasiin Bey, Wesley Snipes and Chuck D rocked the crowd and signed autographs.
“Oh my God I’m gonna be on Youtube tonight,” Chappelle told the crowd of screaming fans with cellphones in the air. “I haven’t seen this many Black people in nine years, ladies and gentleman. It’s good to see. My God, Brooklyn has changed. Just a few short years ago I was in this very neighborhood horrified! But bless you all and thank you for welcoming me.”
In 2004 Chappelle rocked Forte Green and Bed-Stuy Brooklyn for his own block party concert which was released as a feature film in 2005. At the conclusion of the event the corner on Stuvyesant ave was renamed “Do The Right Thing Way.” If you missed it there are plenty of pictures online under the #DTRT25 hashtag and we’ve gathered some in the gallery below:
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