The weather is sizzling hot and tensions are slowly coming to a boil in this Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn neighborhood. Slowly but surely we see the heat melt away the barriers that were keeping anger from rising to the surface. The Blacks and the Hispanics own the streets the Koreans own the corner store and of course the Italians own the pizzeria, the Cops who happen to be all Caucasian, prowl the streets inside out, looking for anyone to harass. Toes are then stepped on and apologies are not made. Spike Lee creates the perfect set-up for a modern day in Bed-Stuyvesant. Without fail Spike Lee is transformed into an anthropologist. Spike Lee's goal is to allow viewers to glimpse into the lives of real people and into a neighborhood they call home. After all this isn't just some flight into an imaginary ghetto. It's a journey into real life, real people and of course real circumstances. In the words of the local DJ Mr. Señor Love Daddy its time to, " Waaaaake up!" and see what real life is really about. .
Our main character is Mooky, a black teenager, who works in Sal's famous pizzeria. Mooky is the pizza parlor delivery boy and he is the only one of his friends to have a job. Sal and his two sons run the pizzeria. Sal is one of the very few white Italian business owners remaining in this predominately black neighborhood. Despite obvious tensions, Sal holds his ground in the neighborhood and remains proud of the fact that these people, meaning the kids of Bed-Stuy, have grown up on his pizza. Along the way we meet other characters such as Radio Raheem who is a neighborhood kid who walks the street with an oversize radio and decorates his fingers with the symbolic love' and hate' rings. Smile, a mentally disabled individual who runs around the streets selling the one existing photograph of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Then there is Mooky's Puerto Rican girlfriend, who is raising their son and constantly nagging Mooky for being a deadbeat father.