This week marks 20 years since John Singleton wrote and directed his seminal film, Boyz n the Hood, which was nominated for best director and original screenplay at the Academy Awards in 1991, making him the youngest person ever and the first African-American to receive this distinction.
Shortly after Boyz n the Hood scores of film emerged around the heading of what Wikipedia calls “hood films”. Films like Set It Off, Dead Presidents, Higher Learning, Jason’s Lyric and Menace II Society — just to name a few.
One of the virtues of Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood is its gritty portrayal of South Central, Los Angeles while showing a diversity of characters—from the single-mom going back to school and the politically conscious father to the four children who lead radically different lives as adults. Which sadly, most films form this era didn’t bother to do relying mostly on flat characters and predictable storylines.
In tribute to John Singleton’s groundbreaking film, theGrio has put together a list of 15 films that continue, revises or departs radically from the theme of surviving and/or getting out of the hood.