Directed and written by a then 23-year-old John Singleton, Boyz n the Hood hit theaters on this day in 1991. The film—which starred up and coming actors like Regina King, Nia Long, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Angela Basset, Laurence Fishburne and many more—tackled life in South Central, Los Angeles during the 1980s. The film was critically acclaimed, a box office smash (over $57 million in the U.S.), and nominated for two Oscars (best director and best writing, screenplay written directly for the screen). Singleton became the youngest and first Black person to receive a best director nod. In 2002, the Library of Congress called the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and it is now preserved in the National Film Registry
Twenty-seven years later, the film is still relevant on topics of police brutality, gentrification, race and more. The dynamic characters written by Singleton prove that not enough has changed from nearly three decades ago. Check out some of the unforgettable, educational and powerful moments below.
Furious Styles’, played by Laurence Fishburne, epic speech on gentrification and guns.
Furious Styles giving tips on being a father.
The reminder that it is not only white cops who are anti-Black.
Reva Styles, played by Angela Bassett, putting Furious’ misogyny in check.
Ricky, played by Morris Chestnut, gets shot — grab a tissue.
Doughboy, played by Ice Cube, on how the media ignores the ‘hood.
Happy anniversary to Boyz n the Hood. This is a film that will live forever.