Last month, I posted an item about Obama’s place in the broader cultural world. I wrote “He probably saw Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever at the Harvard Theater on Church Street.” I also noted that Obama is one year older than Wesley Snipes and four years younger than Lee.
According to a recent profile of Michelle Obama in The New Yorker, I came pretty close. Do the Right Thing played a big role in his life. Here’s the passage: “Before the end of the summer, he’d got her to agree to go out for a movie—Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’—and an ice-cream cone at Baskin-Robbins. Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard in 2004, Barack met Spike Lee at a reception. As Michelle has recalled, he told Lee, ‘I owe you a lot,’ because, during the movie, Michelle had allowed him to touch her knee.”