The themes of insitutional segregation and poverty that ground 1991’s “Boyz N The Hood,” which celebrates 25 years since its theatrical debut today (July 12), still endure well into the present.
The movie features two prominent examples of how Black communities historically experience conflict with police. In one scene, “Furious Styles” (Laurence Fishburne) faces hostility from a Black police officer following a break-in. In another, the same officer taunts Furious’ son “Tre” (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and friend “Ricky” (Morris Chestnut) at gunpoint, bringing him to tears.
“I wanted to have Black cinema where if you weren’t a part of a certain thing, some of the jokes you may not get, but on a human level, you will understand what these people are going though,” said director John Singleton about his debut feature-length movie during an event celebrating its anniversary last month. When the then-23-year-old Singleton earned an Oscar nomination for Best Director for the film, he was the youngest and first Black director to receive the honor.
The prolific Singleton also described his upcoming projects, including the South Central-set FX drama “Snowfall” and BET series “Rebel”—both of which will address police and drug violence, much like “Boyz N The Hood.”
I’m interested in really continuing the foundation that was set with “Boyz” with movies that are very culture specific and making character journeys that are uniquely Afrocentric. A lot of people are affected by our journey. I’m doing “Snowfall,” I have another show called “Rebel” [coming to BET] which is a noir thriller with a Black female detective. She’s a private investigator, she’s not a cop. It’s like “Shaft” with a sister. It’s funny because when she was a cop, she used her authority as a police officer the way White men use their authority; but as a Black woman.
Watch the “Boyz N The Hood” trailer above.
(H/t Shadow and Act)