The filmmaker is urging more black men to become teachers.
Lee made the plea at Morehouse College, the nation's only all-male historically black college. He was joined by Education Secretary Arne Duncan at an event Monday - less than a week after President Barack Obama urged more people nationwide to become teachers.
Lee told the audience that black people "have to educate ourselves" and "educate our young black men." Duncan told the gathering that less than 2 percent of the nation's 3 million teachers are black men.
John Legend is among a group of celebrities singing the praises of teachers. The singer has recorded a TV ad for the Education Department, talking about the influence of teachers in their lives.
Oprah Winfrey has also done an ad focusing on the role of educators. It's part of a push by the federal agency to boost the number of teachers nationwide.
It was one of the themes of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last week.
You can get more information at www.teach.gov