Spike Lee's second feature boldly went where no film had gone before, to explore the subtleties of prejudice within the African-American community. Lee's petri dish for this experiment is a historically black college, and his subjects are the fraternities and sororities whose membership is largely determined by skin hue. With a large and lively cast, several energetically staged musical production numbers, and plenty of low comedy, Lee effortlessly illustrates his message -- that the most insidious kind of racism comes from within his community -- in a variety of ways. This was a huge leap in ambition over Lee's debut feature, the more ingratiating She's Gotta Have It, and like his brilliant Get on the Bus, which dealt with many of the same topics in the context of the Million Man March, it was sadly undervalued by filmgoers on its initial release.
by Tom Wiener review