Spike Lee to speak at UF


Published: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 2:23 p.m.
Director and writer of films such as "Do The Right Thing," "Malcolm X" and "Clockers," Spike Lee is known for his examinations of race relations in America.
The filmmaker has been booked to headline this year's celebration of Black History Month at the University of Florida with a speech open to students and the public on Feb. 1.
"I'm ecstatic," said Billy Holcombe, the executive director of UF's Black History Month 2006, which is hosting events from Jan. 27 to Feb. 28.
Admission to the 8 p.m. event, held at the O'Connell Center on UF's campus, is free. Lee's appearance is co-sponsored by Black History Month 2006 and UF's Accent Speaker's Bureau.
Lee was one of several prominent figures courted for an appearance at UF during Black History Month, said Holcombe, a first-year graduate student in criminology. Others contacted about the speaking opportunity ranged from Illinois Sen. Barack Obama- one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party - to basketball legend Magic Johnson.
Holcombe said that though many of Lee's films and statements may be considered controversial, interest in the event is high and many think it will sell out. "I think today if you don't say things that are controversial, you're considered kind of boring," Holcombe said.
"But because he's been in the spotlight for so many years, people are used to it," he said. The total cost of Lee's appearance, including speaker's fees, marketing and renting the O'Connell Center, is between $30,000 and $40,000, Holcombe said. Both Accent and Black History Month 2006 are helping to pay these costs, he said.
Lee's appearance is perhaps the most high-profile event in UF's celebration of Black History Month, which will also include musical performances, step shows, plays and other speakers.
Jeff Adelson can be reached at 352-374-5095 or adelsoj@gvillesun.com.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top