(January 6, 1968 – April 29, 2019)
With his debut Boyz n the Hood (1991), John Singleton established himself as a visionary filmmaker dedicated to urban Black narratives and communities. At twenty-four years old, he was the youngest and the first Black person nominated for an Oscar in the Best Director category. His exceptional eye for talent helped establish Cuba Gooding, Jr., Angela Bassett, and Morris Chesnutt as household names and brought popular musicians like Ice Cube, Janet Jackson, Tupac, and Tyrese to the big screen.
Singleton directed and produced outside the hood film genre—Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” video? John Singleton. Woo? John Singleton—but even his most recent television credits circled back to the themes in his earliest work: humanizing folks from the hood, the realities of systemic racism, and the effects of violence and gangs on American culture. His two eldest sons have film degrees, and his youngest is scheduled to appear on the third season of Snowfall. We look forward to the upcoming chapters of the Singleton legacy.
- “John Singleton Talks Working with Tupac, Method Man, His New Series Rebel & More,” The Breakfast Club, March 28, 2017.
- “‘Fresh Air’ Remembers ‘Boyz N the Hood’ Director John Singleton,” NPR, May 3, 2019.
- Cunningham, Mark D. “No Getting Around the Black.” Cinema Journal, 53.4 (Summer 2014): 140-46.
- Steptoe, Tyina. “‘Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone’: Gender, Folklore, and the Black Working Class.” The Journal of African American History, 99.3 (Summer 2014): 251-74.