The legendary John Singleton was declared dead on Monday when his family removed him from life support after the filmmaker suffered a stroke recently. In honor of his legacy, we are looking back on the 51-year-old’s debut film, “Boyz n the Hood.”
Directed and written by a then 23-year-old John Singleton, “Boyz n the Hood” hit theaters on July 2, 1991. The film, which starred up-and-coming actors Regina King, Nia Long, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Angela Basset, Laurence Fishburne and many more, tackled life in South Central, Los Angeles during the 1980s.
“Boyz” was critically acclaimed, a box office smash (over $57 million in the U.S.) and nominated for two Oscars (best director and best writing, screenplay written directly for the screen). Singleton became the youngest and first Black person to receive a best director nod. In 2002, the Library of Congress called the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and it is now preserved in the National Film Registry.
Nearly three decades later, the film is still relevant on topics of police brutality, gentrification, race and more. The dynamic characters written by Singleton prove that not enough has changed from nearly three decades ago. Check out some of the unforgettable, educational and powerful moments below.
Furious Styles, played by Laurence Fishburne, gives an epic speech on gentrification and guns.
Furious Styles giving tips on being a father.
The reminder that it is not only white cops who are anti-Black.
Reva Styles, played by Angela Bassett, putting Furious’ misogyny in check. Bassett had been working in Hollywood for yeas but this one of the many moments that made us all fall in love with her.
Ricky, played by Morris Chestnut, gets shot — grab a tissue. One of the greatest tear-jerking moments in cinematic history.
Doughboy, played by Ice Cube, on how the media ignores the ‘hood.
This film is certainly a classic.
Singleton checked himself in a hospital after experiencing weakness in his leg. He had a stroke on April 17, which was alleged to be “mild.” Reportedly, he flown back from Costa Rica and the plane flight may have triggered the medical emergency.
Get well soon, John Singleton.