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Spelman College honors Spike Lee's family legacy with building dedication

Zimmie Reatha Shelton and Jacquelyn Shelton Lee are both proud graduates of the Black liberal arts college for women.

ATLANTA — The Spike Lee family legacy is now etched onto the Spelman College campus.

The famed film director, producer and actor visited the historically Black liberal arts college for women in Atlanta on Monday to honor the legacy of his grandmother Zimmie Reatha Shelton and his mother Jacquelyn Shelton Lee. Spelman College President Dr. Helene Gayle helped lead the ceremonial dedication of the campus' admissions office, honoring the Spelman alumnae.

Shelton, a class of 1929 graduate and Shelton Lee, of the class of 1954, posed outside of Packard Hall, which houses the college's admissions office, and once housed the women during its tenure as a residence hall.

“We are witnessing the influence of two Spelman alumnae and the legacy work of their grandson and son, respectively, Spike Lee," Gayle said in a news release. "We are proud to lay claim to some of their aspirations and impact on Spike, through their experiences in this very place during their matriculation at Spelman, including their dorm life at Packard Hall.”

Spike Lee was born in 1957, a few years after his mother graduated from a renowned HBCU. He's known for bringing the Black experience to the big screen with landmark features like BlacKkKlansman, Malcolm X and She's Gotta Have It. The director is a Morehouse College alumni and legacy as he attended the all-Black college where his father and grandfather attended. He's consistently been a champion and supporter of HBCUs. 

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