He Got Game: The Mixed Race Romance

I recently watched He Got Game, one of Lee’s films that we did not watch in class, and the sexual relationships in the movie were particularly striking. I thought this blog would serve to further @cobblehillbilly’s blog post about Lee’s portrayal of predominately single race relationships. For the most part, I agree with Cobblehill in that the majority of Lee’s films depict only one type of romance and completely negate the possibility of a bi-racial romance ( School Daze, Malcolm X, Chiraq, and Mo’ Better Blues). However, He Got Game was quite different as it didn’t ignore the idea of bi-racial relationships but rather it negatively portrayed the concept of bi-racial relationships throughout the movie. While it is clear Jesus is “in love with his girlfriend”, he apparently doesn’t care about her enough to not be enticed by the “crazy white college girls” that line the halls waiting for him. It is one thing for him to be a highly touted recruit and have this abnormal experience, it is another for his girlfriend, Lala, to further categorize the white girl as “crazy”.  Why would Lee have one of his characters make such a sweeping allegation about calling all white college girls crazy?

The negative connotations of bi-racial relations are further perpetuated when Jesus is discussing college with Lala and he proclaims: ” My mom would be rolling over in her grave if she knew I was with a white girl.” It is just a small line in a movie, but in accordance with all of Lee’s other films and works it becomes an odd quote that clearly opposes the idea of bi-racial relations. I am not saying this is Lee’s opinion, but it is certainly a clear message that is being sent throughout the film. Thus, I ask, what gives? Should Lee try harder to portray successful  bi-racial relations or does he genuinely believe that the idea of them causes mothers to roll over in their graves? Are there any successful bi-racial relationships in his films that I am negating or haven’t come across? Also, thanks again to cobblehillbilly for starting this dialogue.

2 comments

  1. Thanks for posting about the movie. I’m definitely going to watch it!
    In addition, some sources have reported that Lee has a bias against interracial relationships, because his father married a white woman shortly after his mother’s death. I posted some links in the first mixed race blog 🙂

  2. I haven’t seen that movie yet, but I did recognize Lee’s lack of bi-racial relationships in my own blog entry several weeks ago. Also why aren’t there any gay relatioships? For somebody who is representative of black culture in the movie world I think it’s prejudiced and sad that he leaves these important relationships out of his work

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