Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
Fraternity and sorority members clash with the other students at a historically black university in this politically charged musical, which marked the sophomore feature from director Spike Lee. Dap (Laurence Fishburne) is a politically conscious brother who leads anti-apartheid demonstrations and eschews the social climbing of the Greek system. But Half-Pint (Lee), his craven young cousin, is willing to endure any humiliation to join the manly Gamma fraternity. As Half-Pint tries unsuccessfully to impress the Gammas with his inept womanizing, Dap engages in philosophical debates with Rachel (Kyme), his girlfriend. Meanwhile, the light-skinned, straight-haired sisters of the Gamma Ray sorority battle it out in a beauty parlor with their darker-skinned, Afro-headed fellow coeds. Eventually, Half-Pint gets the chance to join the frat, but only after a degrading episode with Jane (Tisha Campbell), the soon-to-be ex-girlfriend of his house president, causes Dap to lose all respect for him. Based in part on the director's experiences at Atlanta's Morehouse College, School Daze was also written and produced by Lee. Despite production numbers that included "Straight and Nappy," a dis-fest between the "wannabes" and "jigaboos" on campus, the biggest hit on the film's soundtrack was the go-go anthem "Da Butt," E.U.'s ode to shaking one's backside. Supporting players Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy also co-starred on the TV comedy A Different World, another look at life on a primarily African-American campus.
Black [race], college, fraternity, college-student, competition, initiation, activism, identity, coming-of-age
High Artistic Quality