Spike Lee to Give Johns Hopkins Commencement Speech

0
Share the News


Photo by Hans Reitzema
Photo by Hans Reitzema

Filmmaker and cultural icon Spike Lee will be addressing graduates at Johns Hopkins University’s commencement ceremony  on May 18.

Lee is an interesting choice for commencement speaker. In his films, Lee has continually commented on racial inequality in America. As the Baltimore Afro-American pointed out, the Johns Hopkins “student body is 44 percent white and 5 percent black.” And filmmaking is something very few Hopkins students pursue.

On the other hand, Lee’s cultural criticism is profoundly relevant to Baltimore’s own struggle with racial disparities, and the filmmaker has been a vocal critic of police-custody deaths — like that of Freddie Gray in Baltimore — that have been making national headlines in the past few years.

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter quoted two students who were looking forward to Lee’s appearance at commencement. Senior Nadine Abdullat told the News-Letter she felt “like the board really took into account what’s happening in the news and around campus to bring a speaker that will be able to speak to it.”

While acknowledging that “Hopkins is far from fixing race relations and all of the issues surrounding racism, sexism, etc.,” fellow senior Jackie Choi commended the board for inviting “a director/activist who’s done so much to challenge the way race and prejudice have affected American society.”

Commencement will take place at Royal Farms Arena and will be closed to the public.



Share the News