May 19 marked what would have been the 98th birthday of Malcolm X. The director Spike Lee gave the keynote address at an event marking the day at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, which is housed in the former Audubon Ballroom in New York where Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965. Lee discussed the challenges of making his acclaimed 1992 biopic of Malcolm starring Denzel Washington, and how he overcame funding shortfalls and studio indifference to get the film made. “We knew that we had to keep going,” Lee said.
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