25 Years: Boyz N The Hood Serves Powerful Messages

John Singleton was only 23-years-old when Boyz N The Hood, hit theaters on July 12, 1991. The cult-classic marked his debut feature film.

Set against the backdrop of street beefs, violence, pretty women and daily adversity and ambition, the film was gritty, raw and so South Central.

At the heart of the realistic portrayal, derived from Eazy-E’s song (written by Ice Cube) of the same title, was the story of brotherhood and lessons learned evolving from boys to men.

Back then, Singleton was on a mission to show that in addition to danger and drugs in the hood, there was also a lot of love and life-long friendships.

JET had the opportunity to speak with the cast in July 15, 1991 issue of the magazine. Digging in the archives to retrieve the original article, revealed a few key messages that still stand strong today.


There’s an urgency for Black men to become more involved in the day-to-day lives of their offspring, especially boys:

“Fathers have to teach boys how to be men. The audience will be able to see the direction the characters take when there is the absence or presence of fathers in their lives.” – John Singleton

Displaying the full picture can lead to deeper understanding of circumstances and outcomes.

“You need to show the whole spectrum. Through our eyes. You always see Black female parents. Black fathers can raise their sons to be Black men.” – John Singleton

It is POSSIBLE to rise above your circumstance and take control of your destiny even while enduring the rough.

“Tre wants to do something with his life. He wants to get the education and get out. He wants something better than running around the streets. The film shows how these kids evolved and what routes they took.” – Cuba Gooding, Jr.