‘Boyz n the Hood’ is a film showing the coming of age of black teenage boys who live in the suffocating conditions of urban life and civic crisis. Gang violence, drug addiction, domestic joys and pains, and friendship are some of the elements that dominate the black urban experience. This film relates to the early films which Mennel (23) state that they depicted the city to reproduce different urban themes which captured different dangers and pleasures of urban life like crime, unemployment, class struggle. This film was released in July 1991, and it is a powerful drama about life experiences of growing up in the urban America as a black person in the period between its releases to today. The film relates to the growing modernisation where the choices of life strongly determine one’s fate.
The film clearly features the importance of role model and friendship in urban slums where the social and cultural practices are influencing factors. Tre is a role model to his friends Ricky and Doughboy. He is a good influence as he is an intelligent teenage boy, articulate and knowledgeable especially as seen in the scene where he teaches the topic of Africa Lineage to his class. His friend Ricky, a friendly and polite boy who is only concerned about becoming a footballer, is represented as a person of steady ambition but filled with innocence.Tre inspires Tricky to go to a business school. “He is always talking about going into business,” Tricky says. Doughboy, on the other hand, portrays the importance of friendship in the many scenes where he is ready and willing to get his hands dirty to keep his friends clean. He has sacrificed himself many times and proved to be a martyr. His concerns are seen the morning after retaliating for his brother’s death and shows worry about Tre getting out of the car the previous night and tells him he should have remained in the car to prevent something bad from happening to him in future. The inspirations and choices made by these characters to save their friends are important, courageous traits that show the price and value that comes with friendship.
Africa-America people are always at risk living in America because of their skin color, and their education and academic qualification do not make them any better (Coates 56). Boys N the Hood gives a powerful look at the lives of American black people. One of the risks faced by these blacks is the discriminative and unjust treatment they receive when they run into the police. The characters are also strained by the society from gaining the standard social norms and values which make them resolute to ways that can meet their goals and success. Ricky has aspirations because he is a great footballer in school but his expectations are low while Doughboy has no expectations because the society expects nothing from him. Once in the movie, Ricky tries to express his interest in been in the army, but Tre tells him, “The army is no place for a black man”. Even though the blacks are limited by social norms in achieving their objectives, Ricky and Tre are determined and focused to achieve their dreams. This shows the importance of looking beyond societal expectations for a better-desired future. The film also addresses the social, cultural forces that keep black men absent from their homes in the first place. Furious is portrayed as a Father figure by keeping proper upbringing of his child and teaches him how to become a man.Through this, the film gives a powerful message that more black men must be present in the loves of their children and teach them how to become men.
Another issue represented by the film is gun violence. The characters of this film are engulfed by gun violence from activities of various gang members. Doughboy and his friends have different characters, but they are all faced with same social issue which pushes them into using guns. An example of how these characters find themselves caught in the midst of gun violence is when Ricky gets in a fight with one of the local gang members, and Doughboy reacts by showing his gun where the gang shoots in the air causing tension amongst the people. Gun violence gets intense when Ricky is killed by gang members, and his brother has no choice but to avenge his death killing all his killers. The society of the hood is faced with inevitable social problems that push the young men to engage in unacceptable behaviors. The film is an eye-opener to responsible planning through intervention to resolve such issues in real life.Moreso, Furious parenting is a lesson to all black parents in their role in streamlining their kid’s behaviors.Tre is a product of good parenting, and his father does not hesitate to take a gun away from him.
The Hoods urban neighborhoods are dominated by young men who exercise illegal tyranny in the black urban center. Neighborhoods are carved up according to defined agreements or fatal conflicts between different groups. Communities from these inner cities are cut from legitimate work and moral authority. The black neighborhoods further experience reterritorialization of space through gentrification. These conditions deny the neighborhoods their basic social functions and continue to be devastated.These experiences are clearly described by theories of modernity and urbanity which characterized a city life with discontinuity and fragmentation. It is the norm in the city life to contain actions that assault individual’s inhabitants unexpectedly (Mennel 25).This focus is a perfect example of isolated cities and discriminatory rules. It should be a lesson to government authorities to divert development procedures to inner cities of urban centers to prevent social conflicts.
The film portrays a clear view of how life was truly like in LA Hood. It encompasses many themes of an urban setting which it relevant to all groups of people including the parents, government authorities and the white community. It impacts a different impression to all these groups creating room for responsible participation. Watching the journey of the characters enable people to identify with them and the impact may be life changing as no one can love ending up like Doughboy or Ricky who makes bad choices and ends up dead. The role played by the parents of this movie have had a great impact on the lives of their kids.Tre portrays a well behaved and focused character far more different from his friends, and this is credited to the good upbringing by the parents. So even with all the social problems, one can face in life, the main lesson learned from the film is that African-American have to be responsible for the upbringing of their children especially for boys where Father figure is important.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. “This is how we lost to the white man.
” Atlantic Monthly (2008): 52-62.
Mennel, Barbara. Cities and cinema. Routledge, (2008): pp. 21-45