The Legacy of Boyz N The Hood

By: B

John Singleton's classic debut film Boyz N the Hood was released 30 years ago today. There's so much to say about why this movie is so damn good but this column may be too long. So, I'm going to keep it simple, the movie is a classic because some many of its themes and messages are still relevant today. On the surface the film may seem like a "hood" movie but once you watch it, it is commentary on the state of the world of a marginalized and still marginalized group Black people.

As a kid when I watched the movie most of the messages went over my head as they should have, with the exception of how life is in the hood. Now I didn't grow up in a "hood" environment, but I'm from Baltimore where two blocks over can be the hood from an suburban like neighborhood. As an adult the film carries deep messages on societal problems like gentrification, police brutality especially from members of your own race, which can also play into self-hate. Black Men in the military and how they are treated. Peer pressure for teenagers especially guys to have sex or lie about they're conquests at a certain age. The desire to leave one's environment or just become a product of the environment and be ok with it. 

One major theme that I think the film is really about is the importance of fathers in their sons lives and the father/son bond. Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) has his father Furious (Laurence Fishburne) in his life to help him avoid some of life’s pitfalls. Tre's best friends Ricky (Morris Chestnut) and Doughboy (Ice Cube) are raised by their single mother Brenda (Tyra Ferrell), she's doing the best she can as a single mother and her sons are genuinely good guys but both have fallen into some life traps they may have avoided if their fathers were around.

Besides the movie’s themes Boyz N The Hood legacy runs deep. It was John Singleton film

debut and at the age of 24 he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Making him not only the youngest nominee which he still holds, but also the first Black nominee for both categories.