Spike Lee in Washington last fall. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Huh. You don’t expect a lot of warm fuzzies from the provocative filmmaker, but did he mean that? Lee was at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, accepting the Paul Robeson “Here I Stand” award from the Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute, a D.C. youth leadership/martial arts program.

Oh, he meant it: Lee, interviewed onstage by George E. Curry, decried parents who push their kids to find career security at the cost of pursuing their passions, reports our colleague Erin Williams. Not his parents, though: Lee praised his jazz musician dad and teacher mom for exposing him to culture and letting him follow his bliss; the only pressure they put on him, he said, was to go to Morehouse College. “And now I’m on the board of trustees.”