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Issue: ‘Malcolm X’

<i> Compiled by Jake Doherty</i> / <i> Times community correspondent</i>

Before backing off his suggestion last week, director Spike Lee had asked people to skip school or work to see the premiere of his movie which opens Wednesday. Will you?

Joyce Simily, Auditor, Los Angeles Unified School District Probably not. I work for the L.A. Unified School District and everything is up in the air. It’s very difficult to keep the kids on campus with the uproar and all. I think it would just be an opportunity for the kids to say they were going (to see the movie) and not really attend. But the movie might be a very big drawing card for the kids, especially in the high schools, because they’re really into defining their identity now and looking into their history. I think I’ll go see it, but right now I don’t think I’ll skip work to do it.

Ricardo Portillo, Junior, Taft High School I think for most of the kids that will just be an excuse to get out of school. They’ll skip school and say, “I went to the movie.” Ditching school is not a good statement to be making right now, especially with the interracial problems, it’s real tough now. I’ll go see the movie after school or on the weekend. There’s no reason to skip school. It’s not going to do any good. But some of my friends say they’re going to skip school to see it.

Jamal Mustafa, Accountant If the idea is to make a statement in support of the movie and its educational impact, then I could see skipping work to go see it. I don’t know that much about Malcolm X, but I keep seeing a lot of people wearing the “X.” When I ask them about it they say he tried to do a lot to help African-Americans. If the movie is about things we can’t learn in school or at work, then I can support taking off to see it. I think I might do that. I would like to know about those things.

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Duane Smith, Administrative coordinator, Price Waterhouse I know what Spike Lee is trying to say. I understand it, so my whole family and I are taking off (from work) and we’re taking my five nieces and nephews and we’re all going to go see it. They range in age from 9 to 13 so they’re going to miss school. Their parents are going too. The reason is to make a statement. I think that it will be an educational movie. I’ve read the book (“The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” by Alex Haley) and hopefully the movie will do it justice. I think it could help produce black awareness and black pride, which I think we need in view of the riots. But I’m getting paid (for a vacation day) to take off. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re not getting paid.

Kenny Lee, Vice President, Computer store I heard about the movie, but I don’t know much about the story. Spike Lee is a well-known director, but it depends on the contents of the movie. But even if it’s a good movie, I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask kids to skip school because school is also important. They can watch the movie on the weekends. If it’s a good movie everyone can recommend it, but why do people have to see the movie during the school day?


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