It's the last week of Black History Month, so we're switching seats, and Nakea is introducing Michael to one of her favorite films that he has never seen. And, in honor of Spike Lee's first Oscar win this year, Nakea has chosen Lee's 1994 joint Crooklyn, starring Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, and newcomer Zelda Harris.

Funny, sharply observed, and brimming with period detail, Crooklyn is Spike Lee's most personal film, based on his own family's experiences of growing up in Brooklyn. It's also, as we discuss, a wonderfully complex examination of family gender roles, a celebration of #BlackGirlMagic, and a lament for all the black girls who have to grow up too soon.


0:00: Prologue: from Spike Lee's acceptance speech at the 2019 Oscars
0:44: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
11:51: Interlude: Original Trailer 
13:10: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
57:02 Outro and Next Week's Movie
58:39: Outtake

Notes and Links

—Movie Reviewed: Crooklyn (dir. Spike Lee, Universal, 1994).
—Prologue: from Spike Lee's acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2019 Academy Awards. 
—Article Mentioned: "On Death and Patriarchy in Crooklyn," bell hooks, Z Magazine.
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—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

The Unaffiliated Critic

Michael G. McDunnah is a freelance writer, a recovering lit major, a pop-culture junkie, and an unaffiliated critic. He lives in Chicago.

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