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Weekend In Entertainment: Do The Right Thing, Panthers & Pride!

Do The Right Thing

It's been 30 years since Spike Lee's movie Do The Right Thing hit the big screen. The 1989 film was considered revolutionary because, as few movies were doing at the time, it took a deep dive into issues such as race and race relations, police brutality, politics, gentrification and what it means to be black in America. 

We're not just talking about ‘Do the Right Thing’ because of the anniversary but this Saturday it will be the opening film in the Charlotte Mecklenburg library's new series, ‘View the Right Thing.’  Shawn Allison, the events coordinator for Pride magazine, is with "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn to talk about that in this week's entertainment segment. 

Shawn Allison
Credit Sarafina Wright
Shawn Allison, events coordinator for Pride magazine.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Welcome Shawn. 

Shawn Allison: Thank you. I'm glad to be here. 

Glenn: So for those who may not have seen the movie tell us a little more about the plot?

Allison: The film's about a black pizza delivery man played by Spike Lee who works for Sal’s Famous Pizzeria run by an Italian American family. And what's significant is that they don't think highly of black people in any respect although their business is in a black neighborhood. And the tension rises between these two ethnic groups which will eventually explode in a big way. 

Glenn: Wow, powerful. The movie was nominated for Academy Awards, deemed culturally significant by the Library of Congress and the National Film Registry. Why else is it important?

Allison: It's important because it highlights the livelihood of black America not even in 1989 but still 30 years later. We're still dealing with gentrification, we're still dealing with police brutality and we're still trying to fight these elements so that we can have a better life and so we can have an equal playing field as everybody else.

Glenn: You were part of the team that put this film series together. How did you choose the films and what are some of the others?

Allison: This actually spawned from two previous films series at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. The first series was called ‘Scenes of a Black Woman’ and they showcase films that either starred a black actress as the main feature or black woman filmmaker.

Glenn: Times, cost and where the movies can be seen?

Allison: The cost is free. The movies are normally being screened at the Beatties Ford Library, but for this Saturday on the 17th, we will be hosting at the Hickory Grove Library which is at 5935 Hickory Grove Road starting at 1 p.m. promptly.

Glenn: Now there are seven in the series? Tell us some of the others?

Allison: "Get on The Bus" and we're also focusing on other black filmmakers. We will have John Singleton's films "Boyz in the Hood," "Higher Learning" and the last film is a surprise and I cannot reveal it yet.

Glenn: Sounds like a great lineup. What else is going on around town for the weekend?

Allison: A few things actually. On Friday night the Panthers are back at Bank of America Stadium with their second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. It's the first home game of the pre-season and is sure to attract a large crowd and they won in Chicago without Luke and Cam. So the fans are really confident about this season.

Glenn: And that's Luke Kuechly and Cam Newton the quarterback, of course. 

Allison: Yes.

Glenn: Shawn it’s also Pride Week in Charlotte. There have been events all week and it's culminating this weekend. What's that going to be like?

Allison: It's going to be wild. It's going to be colorful. It's going to be vivid. There's a huge parade on Sunday. And Saturday there's gonna be all sorts of pageants and lectures and parties mainly in the uptown area.

Glenn: Okay, well, that's a nice line up as the summer is winding down. 

Allison: Thanks, Shawn. 

Glenn: You're welcome. Shawn Allison is the event's curator for Pride magazine.