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Thousands celebrate ‘Do the Right Thing’ at Spike Lee’s Bedford-Stuyvesant block party • Brooklyn Paper

Thousands celebrate ‘Do the Right Thing’ at Spike Lee’s Bedford-Stuyvesant block party

Jam-packed jam: Thousands of Spike Lee fans celebrated the 30th anniversary of his film “Do the Right Thing” at a block party on Stuyvesant Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant on June 30.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

They did the right thing — and partied!

Spike Lee fans celebrated the 30th anniversary of the auteur’s seminal film “Do the Right Thing” at a block party in Bedford-Stuyvesant on June 30.

The Oscar-winning director hosted his annual blowout on the same Stuyvesant Avenue block where he filmed the Academy Award-nominated flick — between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue.

And, like his film, the blockbuster party featured a star-studded lineup featuring actors from the film, including actor Rosie Perez, and hip hop greats such as rap group Public Enemy, who provided the soundtrack to the movie with their rousing anthem “Fight the Power,” according to one party-goer.

“My favorite part was when Public Enemy came on the stage, the actual music from the film, and mingling with people,” said Frank Loftoa, a Brownsville resident.

Artsy: Speed painter Jocelyn “Extraordinarie1” Goode creates pictures for the party-goers.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

Lee has hosted his famous block parties for years, celebrating his movies, along with black artists such as Michael Jackson and Prince.

The 1989 film highlights racial tensions in the neighborhood during the hottest day of the year, which eventually culminates in a tragic death of a young black man.

Lee’s classic struck a chord with many Brooklyn film goers, who were drawn to the film’s exploration of racial themes, Loftoa said.

“What was going on with the racism and the cultural differences,” said Frank Loftoa. “It was phenomenal around that time.”

One Crown Heights granddad came to the party with his family, where he showed off his skills at a classic Kings County pastime — Double Dutch jumping ropes — noting the game isn’t just for the ladies.

Skip: Crown Heights man Curtis Harris has a go at Double Dutch jumping ropes.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

“I hadn’t done that in years, it was wonderful to do it again,” said Curtis Harris, the manager of the Green Earth Poets Cafe in Crown Heights. “I didn’t see a lot of guys trying the jumping, so I stepped in to do it. I started something.”

Harris said the party was a great celebration of Lee’s work and, more generally, of the greatest borough on earth.

“I liked the sense of family, the people, the purpose of the event and most importantly, I’m a Brooklynite, so I was proud to celebrate with other Brooklynites,” he said.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
A reveler holds a “Fight the Power” sing in pan-African colors.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

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