Film-maker Spike Lee has blasted the black culture created by modern rappers for glorifying gang violence and creating dubious role models.

The 48-year-old Summer of Sam director likens the images shown in rap videos to distorted minstrel shows of the 19th century, which instilled a negative view of American blacks.

And he is concerned they will dissuade black children from pursuing an education.

Lecturing at a conference on cultural diversity on Wednesday (2NOV05), Lee pleaded with students to find ways of making school cool again.

He said, "Young black kids didn't grow up wanting to be a pimp or a stripper like they do now.

"Back then, we were not called sellouts for using our brains. And being intelligent was not frowned upon."