Spike Lee was born Shelton Lee in 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from a proud and intelligent background. His father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a school teacher. His mother dubbed him Spike, due to his tough nature. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University. After graduating, he went to the Tisch School of Arts graduate film program. He made a controversial short, The Answer (1980), a reworking of D.W. Griffiths The Birth of a Nation (1915) -- a ten-minute film. Lee went on to produce a 45-minute film Joes Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983), which won a student academy award. Lees next film, The Messenger, in 1984, was somewhat biographical.