MRI Scholars Attend a Night with Spike Lee
Entering the cathedral-like library, the tone was already set for an exquisite evening. From the high ceilings to the marble balconies, the library exudes opulence, which paired well with the chilly Tuesday night. On December 3rd, some of Media Rhythm Institute’s top scholars from Barclay and Lakeland Elementary/ Middle School went to Enoch Pratt Free Library on 400 Cathedral Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Why such opulence??? SPIKE LEE was in the building! THEE academy award winning writer, producer, director, actor(oh yeah and don’t forget BLACK MAN) SPIKE LEE visited The Enoch Pratt Free Library on Cathedral after a $150 million dollar renovation. Silent whispers filled the room as anticipation fills the hearts all of those present, to hear what this mystical man has to say.
The whimsical man walked on stage and crowd was in awe by a legend’s presence. Mr. Lee immediately started to reminisce over sweet memories of 1969 baseball game where New York Jets beat the Baltimore Orioles and basketball game with the New York Knicks vs the Baltimore Bullets, Baltimore’s previous NBA team.
Spike Lee commands the stage as he talks about the disgraceful “Agent Orange” being on the wrong side of history and reflecting on the power of the late Elijah Cummings, who was considered on the right side of history. Impactful films about race and politics propels Spike’s stance on the mobilization and unification that needs to happen within the community.
Colin Kapernick was a brief topic of conversation as Spike Lee talks about how the NFL treated Kap was “despicable” and a “sham”. He also talks about how America’s cultural changes and breakthroughs are displayed in sports. One of our 8th grade scholars from Barclay EMS, Anthony Ross, was intrigued by Spike’s views on exploring different creative outlets rather than just working with production studios.
“ I want to play sports, and he let me know that I should think about all my opinions when I start making business deals,” says Anthony.
The interviewer asks Lee what inspired his uniquely dynamic movies and he simply replies, “ I want to tell the untold stories.” The scholars were very much engaged by Spike Lee’s magnetic presence and stylish composition, rocking a pan african Nike bomber jacket. He didn’t have any expectations. “ I just made the film”, Lee says when asked about his iconic style. He was never looking for fame, only success, which he describes as “ a decent living doing something you love.”
Lee expands on how most people work doing something that they don’t enjoy. “ Parents kill more dreams than anybody, “ says Lee was he expands on his journey as an artist. Today, schools don’t involve the arts in the classroom, like how we had instruments and band growing up. There are specialized schools for the arts now, but where does that leave the talented children without that opportunity? That is one reason why Media Rhythm Institute is hosting after school program iReadiRhyme for youth at Enoch Pratt Free Library from 3-5 pm starting January 6, 2020. We are excited to give youth the opportunity to express themselves in a creative and opportune way.
Our iReadiRhyme program gives youth a chance to explore their own thoughts and ideas about everything from bullying to global warming! It is a chance for scholars to possibly learn about something they’ve never learned before and an opportunity to create a perspective.
Visit our new interactive webpage at mriprograms.org where you can get your scholar involved in one of our programs. You can also send us your email address and we will send you our monthly newsletter filled with recent and upcoming events! Let’s get involved!