A Lil' Diddy About Robert
Until I was about twelve years old, I thought Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" was a horror movie. -Robert E. Holley
It was a hot Labor Day evening in 1988; my parents made me, a chunky 5-year-old, walk almost three miles from the world-famous West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, to my home in Bed-Stuy. I had been on my feet ALL DAY LONG, and I was miserable. We were roughly three blocks from my house, The Promise Land!
As we turned onto Lexington Avenue, there was a lot of commotion. We joined the chorus of onlookers. Brooklyn’s own Spike Lee was filming the infamous Sal’s Pizza riot scene. My 5-year-old brain knew nothing of “the magic of filmmaking.” What I was witnessing was utter chaos, and I was TERRIFIED. I wouldn't say this was my filmmaking origin story, but it would be a glaring omission from the tale.
Years later, I’d receive a filmmaking degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. The school that birthed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, and Sheldon “Spike” Lee…and I’m still chunky.