From Black Voices – A small group of protesters are up in arms about director Spike Lee’s upcoming appearance as a guest speaker at a small Chicago suburban college at their upcoming week-long Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. festivities.
North Central College in Naperville, Illinois is touting the famed filmmaker’s appearance as “the first major public event during its Sesquicentennial year.” “An Evening with Spike Lee” is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 18 and will be held in Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center with an admission price of $20 per person. Now, the Italic Institute of America (IIA), an advocacy group, wants to put the kabosh on the highly anticipated event.
According to Bill Dal Cerro, president of IIA, said the filmmaker’s portrayal of Italian-Americans is distorted and conflicts with the civil rights leader’s message of unity. “Having Lee speak at an event honoring Dr. King is akin to having Maury Povich as the guest speaker at a Happy Marriage Convention,” he said in a news release.
The organization has, in the past, zeroed in on and launched campaigns against all forms of media and public figures who are guilty of portraying Italians and Italian-Americans in a demeaning light and depicting them in a harmful stereotypical way.