The Cultural Relevance of ‘Boyz N The Hood,’ 30 Years Later

at 10:40 AM
Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

Art that reads "Boyz N The Hood: Increase the Peace"
Artist Kehinde Wiley's painting of Boyz N the Hood during VH1's 2005 Hip Hop Honors Pre-party at Splashlight Studios September 20, 2005 in New York City.  ((Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images))

Writer and director John Singleton’s 1991 debut film “Boyz N the Hood,” centered on the coming of age of a Black man in South Central Los Angeles named Tre. Played by Cuba Gooding Jr., Tre learns lessons about Black manhood, cyclical violence and gentrification from his father, played by Laurence Fishburne, and his neighbors, with standout performances by Ice Cube and Morris Chestnut. Some critics called the film the cinematic equivalent of N.W.A.’s music, from which it draws its title, for drawing attention to the high mortality rates of and mainstream apathy to the plight of those residing in majority-Black neighborhoods in 1990s Los Angeles County. We’ll talk about the characters, moments and themes from the film that have stayed with us, three decades later.


Lawrence Ware, co-director, Africana Studies Program; teaching assistant professor and diversity coordinator, Department of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University; contributing writer, Slate Magazine, the New York Times, The Root

Julian Kimble, writer whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Undefeated, GQ, Billboard and Pitchfork