Spike Lee criticizes New York City gentrification during speech at Pratt Institute

The Brooklyn native launched into an angry debate in response to an audience member’s question.

The Brooklyn native launched into an angry debate in response to an audience member’s question. (2/27/14)

BROOKLYN - Brooklyn native Spike Lee stirred up a lively profanity-laced debate about the gentrification of largely black New York City neighborhoods. 

The film director was making a Black History Month speech at Pratt Institute Wednesday when he said that gentrification has little regard for people who "have culture that's been laid down for generations." 

Lee's angry speech went on for about seven minutes. It was triggered by an audience member who asked about the positive effects of gentrification in black communities. 

Lee also demanded to know, "Why did it take this great influx of white people" to make things better?

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