He reflected, "I wouldn't have been who I am if my mother hadn't gone.My drive I got from my mother." His maternal grandmother, Zimmie, then became the matriarch of the family and a major influence in Spike's life.
An uncle had already written about his paternal line, but he knew very little about his mother's side.
Spike was only nineteen when his mother, Jacquelyn, died.
Using an original map of Twiggs County, Spike as able to locate Mars's land.
Traveling there, he donned props that transformed him into Mars Blackmon as a tribute to his ancestor.
"It was not an accident that I called my grandmother and asked her for a name. Satisfied with his discovery of Mars, Spike turned his attention to Lucinda and her slave origins.
Spike learned that Lucinda's parents were Matilda and Wilson Griswold.Melvin was able to locate Lucinda's date of death, and from there they tracked down her obituary in the local newspaper, listed under "Colored News." Melvin explained that it was uncommon for former slaves to have an obituary written during that time.Among other details, it mentioned Lucinda's three surviving sons - Wilson, Isaac, and Phil - but unfortunately nothing about her husband.Spike mused that if Matilda's surname was Griswold and that she was living in Griswoldville, it was highly probable that her former slave owner shared the same name.However, there was no sign of Wilson in the 1870 census.The previous profiles can be found here: Lisa Kudrow Emmitt Smith Matthew Broderick Spike Lee For more than two decades Spike Lee has been a passionate chronicler of African American history.