Vaughn “Dap” Dunlap (Larry Fishburne) is a politically conscious black American student at Mission College, a leading historically black college whose motto is “Uplift the Race.” The college administration is portrayed as inept.
Dunlap leads anti-apartheid demonstrations encouraging students and school administrators to divest from South Africa. When his buddies go into town, they find the local boys are not impressed with their activities, but think of them as privileged college boys. Open conflict breaks out between the groups.
Dunlap feuds with Julian Eaves (Giancarlo Esposito) aka Dean Big Brother Almighty of Gamma Phi Gamma Fraternity, Incorporated. This group is characterized as “wannabees,” as in “wannabe better than me.” The fraternity brothers are preparing for a big college football weekend and Homecoming parties. Meanwhile, Dap’s younger cousin, Darrell (Lee), aka “Half-Pint,” is a Gamma pledge.
School Daze is a 1988 American musical comedy drama film, written and directed by Spike Lee, and starring Larry Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell-Martin. Based in part on Spike Lee’s experiences at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, Spelman College, Morris Brown College and Clark Atlanta University, it is a story about fraternity and sorority members clashing with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend. It also touches upon issues of colorism and hair texture bias within the African-American community. The second feature film by Spike Lee, School Daze was released on February 12, 1988 by Columbia Pictures.
School Daze (1988)
Directed by: Spike Lee
Starring: Larry Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Tisha Campbell, Kyme, Joe Seneca, Art Evans, Ellen Holly, Ossie Davis, Jasmine Guy
Screenplay by: Spike Lee
Production Design by: Wynn Thomas
Cinematography by: Ernest R. Dickerson
Film Editing by: Barry Alexander Brown
Costume Design by: Ruth E. Carter
Set Decoration by: Lynn Wolverton-Parker
Art Direction by: Allan Trumpler
Music by: Bill Lee
Distributed by: olumbia Pictures
Release Date: February 12, 1988