Cultural Analysis of Boyz N the Hood Essay

1639 Words Oct 1st, 2008 7 Pages
The Boyz Next Door
Up until the early 1990s, the decay of inner-city America largely went unnoticed by the general American public. However, the rise in popularity of gangster rap and the release of such films as New Jack City and Menace II Society drew the publics’ attention toward the largely ignored urban areas. Of all the films in the genre that came out, though, one in particular stood out. Boyz N the Hood, directed by John Singleton, became widely acknowledged as the definitive film for inner-city African Americans. Regardless of age, race, or religion, the film’s powerful and gritty imagery captivated audiences nationwide. Though many Americans had a general idea of the rough lifestyle endured by many inner-city dwellers, the
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Instead of copping out and watering down the characters, Singleton stayed true to the reality of the people and presented them in their truest forms, real people with real problems. Also, the characters language was filled with slang commonly used in urban areas. The movie also addressed the hopelessness and frustrations many feel when growing up in the hood. In his article, “He is a "Bad Mother*S%@!#": Shaft and Contemporary Black Masculinity,” author Matthew Henry states, “As a black within a racist social and political hierarchy, he has neither power nor privilege; yet, on the other hand, as a male within a still patriarchal power structure, he has both” (Henry 119). In other words, Henry is explaining how frustrating it is for African-American males to be full of so much pride, yet be so powerless in terms of the great spectrum of American society. Due to their sex, the African-American male feels as if he should be a dominant character as is common among males throughout many societies. However, due to the racial boundaries that much of our country falls victim to, the African-American male commonly has to overcome far more obstacles than a white male would in the same situation. These frustrations build up and lead to the violence and drug abuse that dominates inner-city societies. Though the movie was purely fictional, the

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