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REMEMBERING John Singleton

On behalf of the entire family, we would like to send our deepest and sincere condolences to the Singleton family and friends. Over the weekend, the news broke that our beloved John Singleton suffered a massive stroke. The stroke resulted in Mr. Singleton being in a coma. Unfortunately, Mr. Singleton battle ended Monday, April 29, when his family made the difficult decision in taking him off life support.

John Singleton was an African American film director, screenwriter and producer who cherished the black community and culture. He is best known for directing the 1991 film titled ‘Boyz n the Hood’. A film alike a vast majority of his films which resonates with his hometown of South Central Los Angeles. Singleton was the first African American and the youngest person to have ever been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, right out of the gate, for his first film ‘Boyz n the Hood’. His work includes a few of my favorites, such as, Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Shaft, Baby Boy, 2 Fast 2 Furious and Four Brothers.

Let us get into one of my favorite Singleton movies, which is none other than, 'Baby Boy'. Baby Boy, set in the hood of South Central Los Angeles; it follows a young man named Joseph ‘Jody’ Summers on his path to manhood. Tyrese Gibson, who was not originally scheduled to be a part of the film, played Jody. The film was originally set to star Tupac Shakur, a rapper, who starred in another Singleton classic ‘Poetic Justice’ – a film that gave The Janet Jackson her first movie debut. Alike other films written, produced and directed by Singleton, he gave another aspiring actress her first film debut in ‘Baby Boy’ and it was none-other-than my favorite around the way girl, Taraji P. Henson.

His belief and dedication to share black experiences with the world opened so many doors for black actors. He was not afraid to voice his opinion about Hollywood’s treatment towards black directors. His films were great examples of what it meant to stay true to who you are. He wanted his work to be special – in order to accomplish that – he was not focused on appealing to everyone. John Singleton gave us our favorites! Whether it was through a storyline or hired talent. For that, our culture will forever remember John Singleton. His work is respected, cherished and will be missed!

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