Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 10:47:29 -0500
From: Grant Barrett
Subject: "You da man."

I believe my peers and I caught onto to "you da man" from Spike Lee's movie
"Do The Right Thing" which has a scene of two black men arguing about which
of them, really and truly, was "da man."

MOOKIE: You da man.

BUGGIN OUT: You da man.

MOOKIE: No you da man.

BUGGIN OUT: No you da man.

MOOKIE: No you da man.

BUGGIN OUT: No I'm just a struggling black man tryin' to keep his dick hard in
a cruel and harsh world.... whassup with the white boy?

The movie came out in 1989, and for those of who stepped out into the world at
that time (usually by entering college), it was a defining, informing movie. It
demonstrated strife inside of the black community that people like me (white,
semi-rural, middle class, Midwestern) didn't know existed, partly because we had
perceived the black community as a monolith of thought and opinion. "You da man"
and a few other lines of the movie were easy hooks into something foreign.

I wonder how we could gauge how much impact that movie had on the use of
"you da man?"

Grant Barrett