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Film / School Daze (1988)

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School Daze is a 1988 American musical comedy-drama film, written and directed by Spike Lee (only his second film), and starring Larry Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell.

Based in part on Spike Lee's experiences as a Morehouse student in the Atlanta University Center during the 1970s, it is a story about undergraduates in a fraternity and sorority clashing with some of their classmates at a historically black college during homecoming weekend. It also touches upon issues of colorism, elitism, classism, political activism, hazing, groupthink, female self-esteem, social mobility, and hair texture bias within the African-American community.

It was released on February 12, 1988 by Columbia Pictures.


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This film features examples of:

  • But Not Too Black: This film references the old practice of black fraternities and sororities performing "the paper bag test" on their potential applicants - only those with skin lighter than a brown paper bag would be allowed in.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Spike Lee loves his Dolly Shots. His very first use of it was in this film but it wasn't until Mo' Better Blues that we see the one that he is more renowned for.

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