Analysis of Boyz N the Hood





Analysis of Boyz N the Hood

The film Boyz n the Hood revolves around several key themes including gentrification, friendship in urban slums, and significance of education. The built environment has taken on increasing meaning in the 20th century especially among the younger generation. With the decline in family bonds and association, more youth find themselves depending on the urban “family” as their main form of support. These urban slums are home to a myriad of problems including gang violence, drug peddling and abuse, corruption and poverty. Children and young adults find themselves caught up in the temporary and superficial allure of money, power, and fame. However, these social choices have massive implications on the welfare and progress of young people. Analyzing the way in which these different planning issues are captured within the film Boyz n the Hood will shed more light especially for urban planning interests.

Friendship in Urban Slums

The scripting of the film focused on a specific target group, black young men between the ages of 18 and 30. Economic and social differences between black and white races within the United States have ensured that African-American youth find themselves filling up prison cells. Simultaneously, black men make up the biggest population of unemployed individuals. These differences have ensured that within black slums, black-on-black homicide has become a reality. The film Boyz n the Hood attempted to bring out this phenomenon in several ways. The film brings out the agonizing and authoritative perception at the lives of black male platonic relationships residing in a lower-class neighborhood. This complicated set of associations between parents and their children, gangsters and innocent boys, as well as boys who enjoyed a life free of paternal restrictions underlines the vital shape of the film. In particular, the relationships among peers and the underworld as portrayed by the director John Singleton is a valid indicator of the extent of the type of friendship in the slums.

Consequently, Singleton’s film presents a reasonable viewpoint on how human beings make different choices and the way in which each decision in itself is not a feature of independent ethical agents existing in an existential void, but instead an aspect that is formed and implemented within the interface of political, spiritual, social and economic forces of daily experience. Individual character, household discipline, parental leadership or its nonexistence, combine in assisting to shape the reader’s comprehension of the history and future, assist in defining how people react to confrontations and crises, and contribute towards shaping how people handle success or vice versa. One of Singleton’s impressive achievements in Boyz n the Hood is his depiction of the South Angeles locality as a community (Cube et al. 36). In this train of thought, Singleton shows how the residents love and care about each other, although this love is articulated in an uncouth manner. For example, when the mature Tre crosses spotted a baby in grave danger while he was crossing the street, he saved her. Furthermore, he took the baby to her mother for additional care. Similarly, when Tre attends a barbecue host by Doughboy, he is approached by Brenda who encourages him to advise the recently freed man in the hopes that it would change the young delinquent (Cube et al. 78).

Role of Education

Within the film Boyz n the Hood, the role of education in shaping people’s behavior and relationships within the community is elaborately addressed. One of the troublesome structural aspects of the film is that one of the protagonists has to deal with a Eurocentric learning curriculum. From an early age, Tre Styles realized from the educational pipeline that the existing system of curriculums and education facilities have insignificant cultural significance for African-American students living in poverty stricken urban conditions, particularly when his instructors made little effort to be comprehensive in their pedagogical activities. Tre questioned the moral and professional authority of one his Caucasian teachers concerning the lack of black elements in their teachings (Cube et al. 45). What he questioned was the popularity of “whiteness” in curricula, environment, and activities, a phenomenon that was prevalent in white institutions. This constant challenge of authority lands the protagonist into trouble with the administration. This creates problems at home and with the parents since they are under the impression that a Eurocentric learning system is more superior to the local education system. The director intended to inform the readers of the way in which perceptions of the white educational system influenced associations in black families (Cube et al. 27).

Most of the changes that affect Tre are mostly guided by the need to realize academic excellence. Another key reason for the high esteem for educated individuals within black communities is the assumption that a good education is liked to prosperity in life. Therefore, according to Brenda, her son Ricky, who happens to be a first-class student with overwhelming potential to prosper in academics and sports, is the family’s single hope of relocating to a more constructive and comfortable lifestyle within the financial and social economic system. The viewers perceived how insufficient economic and social opportunities for African-American families in the United States of America combined with poor paternal presence pushed Brenda to not only perceive her children as commercial entities, but also to classify them: Darrin was essentially considered a failure while Ricky became her financial asset. Regrettably, towards the end of the film, both Darrin and Ricky pass on (Cube et al. 29). This represents the actual value of family cohesion unit and the effects of education on the family. The next section discusses the theme of gentrification as is portrayed in the film Boyz n the Hood.


Gentrification can be defined as the process of purchasing and renovating estates in impoverished urban area and reselling them at a higher price. In the film Boyz n the Hood, proper housing was a serious issue that affected the greater population within the community. African-Americans in those regions were living in fear of the large real estate companies that were interested in buying up land (Pattillo 45). However, the director, John Singleton took it a step further and addressed the real reason behind the increasing potential for gentrification. In the film, Furious Styles notes that “ain’t nobody from outside bringing the property value down, it’s these folks shooting each other and selling that crack rock and shit”. He was implying that black people were responsible for their own economic and social downfall. While, the cast in the film argued that owning their money and assets would be a solution, it was not sufficient in the long term (Pattillo 19). In conclusion, the movie was developed by John Singleton as a way of teaching the rest of America a different side to African-American culture. One of the main actors in the film, Ice Cube held the notion that the film held a timeless message of tolerance to racial differences and family dynamics, and culture.


Works Cited

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Ice, Cube, Cuba Gooding, Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, Tyra Ferrell, Angela Bassett, Meta King, Whitman Mayo, John Singleton, Steve Nicolaides, and Stanley Clarke. Boyz ‘n the Hood. Burbank, CA: Columbia TriStar Home Video, 1998. Film

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Pattillo, Mary E. Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. Print.

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