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Spike Lee criticizes NYC gentrification

February 27, 2014 • Entertainment


File-This July 31, 2013, file photo shows filmmaker Spike Lee being interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Lee has engaged in a brief and lively profanity-laced debate about gentrification of largely black New York City neighborhoods. He made his comments during a Black History Month speech at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. He says gentrification had little regard for people who “have a culture that’s been laid down for generations.” (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — In a rant that quickly went viral, film director Spike Lee disparaged the gentrification of historically black New York City neighborhoods and reignited an age-old debate over the merits of economic change.

Lee, who grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene, made the comments during a Black History Month speech at the Pratt Institute in that borough Tuesday. No stranger to making incendiary remarks about race and society, Lee said gentrification had little regard for people who “have a culture that’s been laid down for generations.”

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