Boyz n the Hood directed by John Singleton is viewed as one of the most influential films of its time. The film has sparked a new genre of films such as Menace II Society, South Central, and Baby Boy. In each of these films, similar to Boyz n the Hood, is the portrayal of the struggles that African Americans in ghettos face, and how they deal with the thought in the back of their minds that there is no way out.
The setting for Boyz n the Hood takes place in South Central Los Angeles in a neighborhood riddled with poverty and violence. Throughout the movie Singleton brings various elements seen in these real life neighborhoods to the big screen for people to observe. Robberies, shootings, and murder are some of the violent aspects shown in this film.
Fredrickson’s “Racism: A Short History” touches on the idea of racism. Racism is portrayed often in the film. For example the police took a great deal of time to show up at the house of the main character when called for a robbery. When there one cop was seen stating how it was a shame he did not shoot the kid dead because he believes that all the African Americans in the neighborhood are worthless and the city itself is better off without them. Just as Fredrickson touched on, people often view inhabatants of the ghetto as having differences in ways that are permanent and unbridgeable. The film focused mainly on a group of young men: Tre Styles played by Cuba Gooding Jr., the main character, and brother’s Baha Jackson played by Ice Cube and Ricky Baker played by Morris Chestnut. In just three characters Singleton displays various elements that young African Americans deal with in their lives such as pre-mature parenthood, single parent homes, academia, and how each character deals with the situation they find themselves in.
Singleton often uses clothing as a way to have the audience view characters in a certain way. Tre is usually seen as more professional dressed occasionally dressed in a button down...
Cited: George Fredrickson, Racism: A Short History, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), 1-13.
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