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April 21, 2008

Boyz 'N The Hood

I agree that women’s perspectives are largely ignored in the film, but the pressing issues are visible in the violent and derogatory language directed at either the female characters in the movie, or when discussing women in general. Too seldom does a woman in the movie talk back or defend herself, and when it does happen she is immediately silenced with further degradation, for example (two exchanges between Shalika and DoughBoy): “Who you callin' a ho', I ain't no ho'.? “Oops, I'm sorry, bitch.? and “Why is it every time you talk about a female you gotta say bitch, ho, or hootchie?? “'Cause that's what you are.? Although the audience gets to see the treatment of women in the hood, these issues are not given ample scrutiny, not nearly as much as the violence between the men. And I understand that the movie is called “Boyz ‘N the Hood,? but these are “boys? treating women in an unacceptable and vicious manner, and I agree with the critics that believe these situations should not have been ignored.

The language directed at the women honestly makes the movie difficult to watch. Although the movie is not supposed to send a positive, “be like me? message, a lot of viewers walk away identifying with the characters and, therefore, imitating some of their behavior, specifically, the treatment of women. Some viewers may even find those scenes funny and less serious than others, whereas I believe them to be the most attention-worthy. Why do relationships, hardships, discrimination and injustices between men always conjure more immediate attention and publicity than those facing women?

The film would have been different if it had been told from the viewpoints of women only in the sense that most of the violence would have been more direct physical contact and sexual abuse. Women, whether raped within the home, on the streets, or sexually mistreated through unfortunate choices such as prostitution and stripping, are equally, if not more often abused. Men come home from the hard street life and may find comfort in beating up on their woman, so as to relieve the frustrations of being the one beaten. Also, had the movie been told from a woman’s perspective, the language directed at men would not have been remotely as offensive – we don’t have nearly as large an arsenal of violent male-directed vocabulary.

April 17, 2008

Boyz 'N The Hood - Sukhpal Dhillon

My favorite character in the movie “Boyz n the hood? would undoubtedly be Jason “Furious? Styles. Furious though a strict father to Tre, he molds his son to rise against the adversity that surrounds his growing son. From sex, violence, drugs, and taking responsibility for one’s action Furious is the father figure that characters such as Ricky, Doughboy, and Chris do not have which greatly hinders there ability to succeed in life. Straight from the beginning Furious makes Tre rack the yard while Tre’s friends get to enjoy themselves. Though he is envious of his friends this guiding figure is the main reason that Tre stays out of trouble and goes to college while the rest of his friends are either severely hurt or killed.

One quote that is memorable is when Furious is with Tre by the lake and tells his son “Any fool with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children.? The benefit of a strong father figure is evident. That is why Tre’s mother sends Tre to live with his father. Furious also mentions how he does not want to be a thirty year old grandfather to Tre. Tre in the movie is constantly trying to have a sexual relationship with his girlfriend but due to her Catholic faith she holds out. Due to this and Furious remarks about responsibility, Tre does not father a child young like his friend Ricky did.

Another quality that makes Furious an intriguing character is his lack of ignorance. He is not naïve like the other characters; he knows what goes on from living in the hood, to police brutality to sexual promiscuity. It is without doubt that Director Singleton’s was trying to show that a due to a lack of a father figure for most minorities and even whites in the hood there is an ongoing cycle of violence that will repeat itself. Teaching children young about responsibility is the greatest key to getting them to succeed in life.

April 16, 2008

Boyz 'N the Hood - Katherine Lung

If the portrayal of the Los Angeles ghetto portrayed in Boyz ‘N The Hood was accurate, I find the struggles and socio-economical situations of Black America a difficult containment to escape from. The constant exposure of young kids and adults to violence, drugs, alcohol and the discriminating treatments from White and Blacks alike (i.e. the Black officer that arrives after the burglar escapes from Furious’ house and his negative comments on his so called ‘brothers’) makes anyone living in this condition susceptible to accepting and internalizing the stereotypes placed upon them. I find it hard to make any blunt comment on this film with my lack of knowledge of Black America and the ghetto life. I think this film was good in the sense of exposing the general struggles and problems that adolescences faces while living in the ghetto, (booze, drugs, guns) but for the sake of Hollywood industry and profitability, it was made to please both Black and White. If it was meant to challenge the comfortable level of White Americans, it could’ve depicted conflicts between black and white, what I feel many chooses to ignore on screen.
I definitely noticed the lack of portrayal of Black American Women. The most notable female characters were Tre’s mother, Tre’s girlfriend, and Tre’s friend/neighbor’s mom, however all of them were secondary characters in support of Tre, a Black male, who is the main character. Even character relationships is focused on the father-son relationship rather than the mother-son. The way the male character addresses female using bitches, hos, and whore, is degrading, although the women in the film does not react so, suggesting that it is typical and common in the hood. From the lack of presence of women in gang rivalry, I question how far women are involved in gang problems within the Black American community. The film could’ve definitely done a better job in this aspect, portraying women’s struggle as well as men’s.

April 14, 2008

Boyz 'n the Hood -- Dillon Aretz

a little late--
This film is a picture of a broken system. The Americana most Minnesotans grow up with is consistent; from generation to generation, times changing, but still comfortable. The laws are respected--aside from bending the rules of speed limits or underage drinking--and we have no fear of our neighbors. The film shows a world where the slightest spark-- like bumping into someone--can lead to homicide. The police, ever present with their helicopter lights, only swing by to harass the innocent, and not do a damn thing about the gun violence they know is lurking about. Yet, the unity that Furious wants in order to preserve culture is a far cry from the unity shown during the Watts and Rodney King riots. Those riots were tension-related, as people came together to show their common aggression toward oppressive white society. The movie, then, shows that because of the constant threat of black-on-black violence, the unity of a riot is the closest thing to unity the community will achieve. Whether or not what Furious says is true--that, because of liquor and gun shops on every corner that they whites are trying to get them to kill themselves off--there is a definite vision of necessary escape. Tre's mother gets out of the neighborhood as soon as she is able. Tre and his girlfriend go all the way to Georgia for school. By the end, all of the good characters have moved out or died.

April 13, 2008

Boyz N' The Hood--Jesse Stapp

In the film, Boyz N’ The Hood, Tre’s parents were not married, yet both wanted the best for their son. In the beginning of the film, Tre’s mother sent Tre to live with his father Furious. Tre’s mother did not have the intention of abandoning her son, but felt that Furious could teach his son how to survive and get out of the hood someday. I believe that Tre’s mother did make the right decision when she sent Tre to live with his father. There were certain things that Tre’s mother felt that she could not teach Tre, and living with his father would ultimately benefit Tre when he made a life for himself after getting out of the hood. In a broader sense, this shows us that men are just as capable of raising children as women are. A criticism that comes to mind, however, is that of teaching Tre to be a respectable and street smart individual. In the film, it seemed as if Tre’s father, Furious, was the only one who could teach Tre to be an intelligent black man living in the hood. Tre’s mother was an intelligent woman who had a college education and a drive to give Tre a decent life. There is no reason why she wouldn’t be able to discipline Tre and teach him all of the things that he would need in order to be successful in his life. In Kenneth Chan’s article, he argues that the black man was type-casted as a product of the hood and that black film was merely a Hollywood fad of the 1990s. The portrayal of the black man as a rapper/gangster was simply a popular trend in this time period, according to Chan. Boyz N’ The Hood perpetuated this image with several characters, but broke from the structure with Tre’s parents. Both his mother and father represented strong-willed, intelligent and determined people. In the film, one can see that the stereotype of black males only goes so far in the film. Several males and females break from these stereotypes, including Tre’s parents.

Boyz in the Hood - Colin McGuire

“Boyz in the Hood? was a very realistic eye-opener kind of movie. The film portrayed the difficulties of growing up in the poor parts of Los Angeles from the perspective of a teenage black kid. Throughout the movie there are constant “threats? to the lives of the young black men, such as drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence. They are all stuck in what seems to be a never-ending cycle. There is a constant use of drugs and alcohol that seem to be a prime priority for them. The cycle these kids are stuck in also includes teenage pregnancies and continuous killings back and forth. The movie does a great job of portraying how these black people are suppressed. They are suppressed by all of those around them, but also by themselves. Tre’s father, Furious, explains that there are alcohol and gun stores on every corner for a reason. The reason that “they? want the black people to kill each other and drink themselves to death. It is along the lines of extermination of “problem?, by the problem itself. He also insisted the issue that they needed to keep their neighborhoods completely black. Black people, black money, black houses. Tre and his father appear to be the “strongest? characters in that they do not conform to the accepted way of life of the rest of the black people. Tre represented how hard it was to not live the same life as everyone else. In his attempts to escape from this poor life he avoids all the trouble the rest of his friends are always getting into. His friend Richy was even getting out. He had a scholarship for football and was going to go college. But because someone thought he “looked at them wrong? he ended up being killed too. And there it is again, a single mother with a baby that is going to grow up without a father and most likely fall right into the lifestyle the rest of the kids lead.

Boys 'N The Hood - Melissa Colbert

The film Boyz 'N The Hood reveals many issues that African American men and women faced during the 1980’s and 90’s. Covering everything from teen-pregnancy to incarceration, drive by shootings, and racial discrimination, Singleton’s film paints a harsh picture of life in the inner-city. Throughout the movie we see the main character Tre’s friends become a product of life in the inner-city while he tries to take his father’s advice and rise above his negative environment. Thinking about his future, Tre sees the mistakes of his friends like “Doughboy? and, up until the last few moments of the movie, stays resistant to pressures around him. However, after his best friends Ricky dies, he falters and turns to violence and revenge on the young men who murdered his friend. Ultimately, he decides not to follow through with his plans to kill; however, Ricky’s brother is on a mission as well and succeeds in killing the three boys. Many feel that Boyz 'N The Hood portrays its character’s lives as meaningless; however, the characters’ messages are strong and truthful, which gives them powerful meaning. One other criticism of the film is its lack of perspective of African American women. I would agree with this statement; however, I feel that the movie does not focus on women because during that time they were not seen as strong or significant by many African American men. While I am positive that women during this time were affected by what was going on around them, they are not given a voice in this film because in reality they did not have one while living in the inner-city. Very little respect was given to them, and the words “bitch?, “ho?, and “whore? were used to put them in their place. We see this throughout the movie with Doughboy and his lack of respect for his mother and other women. Only when boys were taught to respect women are they given power and a voice, like with Tre and his mother and also his girlfriend.

Boyz 'N The Hood: Women's values - Chris Hovel

The idea of woman's ideas and rights is strongly neglected in this film. The plot line emphasizes on the social struggles of the male character and not of the female. It mainly focuses on the troubles of Ricky and his half brother Doughboy. This film never really attacks the issues of how the female characters feel about there life styles growing up in the hood. Many of the stronger female characters in this film take on the roll of the mother in the family structure. About the problem of the constant use of sexist terms such as "bitch" and "ho", this is an issue that even troubles our culture today. These terms have evolved from simple slang usage to complete derogative sexist terms. Many of the female characters in this film were very accepting of these terms and never really took extreme offense by them. However like I stated before the women who had the much stronger more defining rolls such as the mother figures would never stand for that kind of complete disrespect. If this movie would have been told from the women's perspective, I believe that it would still be very similar to the original. However this film would have a much more of a social equality and women's right feel to it. It wouldn't have focused as much on the struggles of the gang violence or the complete economic pit fall of living in such a bad neighborhood.

Rob Skogen

"[T]he remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country -- a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America…"
--Barack Obama (March 18, 2008)

The representative sample for this week’s discussion topic “Race, Gender and Cultural Resistance in Film?, Boyz ‘N The Hood (1991), was a powerful “slice of life? film depicting the coming of age a typical black urban male in modern America can expect. John Singleton’s film presents this narrative through the experiences of three main characters, each symbolic of different worldviews through which to deal with the harsh, oppressive reality of growing up in South Central Los Angeles. It is the development of these characters and narrative that Singleton created that meet the requirements of “burden of historical representation? presented in the assigned reading from Jeremy Stoddard and Alan Marcus.

In approaching a given film as an educational tool, as we are for our course, Stoddard and Marcus argue that it necessitates “underrepresented groups be portrayed in a way that allows the viewer to understand their points of view, history and language?, because it has a lasting impact on how people view the world and the groups that are represented, even if they know that the film’s portrayal isn’t accurate? (Stoddard and Marcus 27). All of the other articles that we read this week agree that Boyz ‘N The Hood was a one-of-a-kind film that sparked a new movement in Hollywood films being directed by blacks. In his article, Kenneth Chan identifies this outcrop of such films as “being engineered to appeal to the frustration and rage felt particularly by black males? (Chan 35) through the construction of an identity unfamiliar to most mainstream movie audiences.

Bakari Kitwana explores this construct in further depth in his article and discusses how many films released after Boyz ‘N The Hood focused on, reinforced, and even glorified the nihilistic characteristics of the thug culture, or “America’s nightmare – young, Black, and don’t give a fuck? (Kitwana 131). Although he understands the complex economic and social factors that contribute to the formation of such a character, he also warns that ignoring the socially aware, politically conscious roots of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of a generation past is not going to stop the cycle of self-destruction and violence that has been holding a culture back from success for far too long.

As Singleton illustrated through the character of Tre Styles, there is an alternative persona for young, black males to adopt that can lead to a way out of the dead-end lifestyle of a gang-banger, drug addict or pimp. As our parent’s generation showed us, change does not occur overnight – it is accomplished one step in front of the other. We cannot give up on what they started, because doing so will only set us further behind on the path to fully realizing the ideals that we aspire to as individuals and as a nation.

H.Getachew

Kitwana stated “contemporary discussion of race in America, locked in a 1960’s-style civil rights time warp, has failed to consider how young Blacks are affected by unique social forces that have created problems different from those of our parent’s generation? (122). Kitwana means that blacks have more opportunity to voices their ideas in many art forms than their parents in the 1960’s. These art forms such as rap music and black films try to portray young Blacks living in America, but their depiction of young Blacks itself creates what it means to be black. The music and the films industries only concern is making money, thus neglecting the negative influence they have on black community. The industries are trying to attract young consumers by “portraying outlandish violence and in the process constructed a young Black thug genre, almost Black parodies of white gangster flicks. (Kitwana, 127) The Boyz in the Hood also deals with violence in urban American where young Blacks have limited options and opportunity to get out of the hood. Young blacks have few positive role models in the media to look up to. The main character Tre had strong positive father who guided him, but others in the same situation who don’t have stable parents to turn to, popular black films and music would play important role. I think Boyz in the Hood is a positive black film that tells a story of hope and personal responsibility in the mix of violence and poverty in urban America.

Boyz in the Hood Mikhail Karpich

Many reviews or critiques of Boyz in the Hood suggest that it clearly shows the sense of nihilism in black youth culture. I disagree with this statement because I viewed the movie as a message of inspiration and hope for the black people. When Tre went off to live with his father, he and his father still had good morals and values that they abided by even though they lived in a bad neighborhood. They were not corrupted by the violence and the disadvantages that surrounded them. When Tre’s best friend was murdered, Tre was very sad, angry, and frustrated but he did not lose meaning or purpose for his life by going off and committing murder back onto the murderers. Instead the movie ended with him and his girlfriend going off to college. Gates said, “[black people are like] crabs in a barrel. As soon one tries to get up and out, the others reach up and pull him down? (bloodbath 177). This movie offers motivation and inspiration to work and study hard and shows that it is possible to change one’s life around and get out of the situation there in. One might start in the barrel but there is an opening for one to get out. K. Clean said the following about the black people, “crime and street violence are a part of his world, and the way he comes to terms with it frequently determines the path he eventually takes in life? (Clean 45). This film showed that a bad neighborhood could force you toward crime and violence but it is your choice how you respond to it and act on it which in turn decides the path you choose.

Boyz 'N the Hood - Martine Schroeder

The film "Boys 'n the Hood" seemed to be nihilistic in some aspects and not nihilistic in others. There were a number of shootings and it seemed fairly easy for the characters to pull guns when they got into fights. That kind of shows that there is not a whole lot of value placed on human life. However, the main characters are devestated when Ricky is killed.

Ricky's death seems to strongly affect many of the main characters. Ricky's brother begins to realize how screwed up murder is. And Tre learns a lot about himself. When placed in an ethical dilemma like the one he faced he was able to take the high road and not give in to his temptation to kill out of vengence. In this sense Ricky's life did have a lot of meaning. He wasn't just a guy. It was his life and the way he lived it that made a difference and affected those around him.

Kim Hanlon - Boyz 'N The Hood

Kitwana talks about the ‘1960’s style time warp’ as the country’s perception of African Americans as those fighting for their rights as American citizens rather than being treated like second class citizens. Society fails to see the true struggles that African Americans go through throughout the United States. Kitwana discusses the problems of their parent’s generation as the civil rights movement and their struggles as the violence and gang activity. The film seems to go along the idea of the problem with gang violence and poverty. The film does not focus on the civil rights movement and the fight for their rights. It focuses on the younger generation and their violence and fight for their lives on the streets in their neighborhoods.
The women portrayed in the film are made out to look like ‘bitches’ whose only job is to raise the kids and look hot. Women, in the film, are seen as second class citizens compared to the men in the film. They are treated like shit and not respected. When the men in the film talk about them they are always talking about getting a piece of ass rather than referring to them as equals and humans too. I had a problem with some of the women because they aloud the men the call them ‘bitches’, ‘ho’s’ and ‘whore’s’. Only a couple of the women stood up for themselves and women in general to say that they were not bitches, but they did not go beyond telling the men once. The men would respond with another derogatory term and the women would cave in because it was a losing cause. The film would have been very different if it was told from a women’s point of view. I think there would have been fewer scenes of violence and more scenes of how the women were treated by their men and the day-to-day themes of their lives in the home.
To say that Boyz ‘N The Hood is a nihilistic film is ridiculous. The film clearly shows how rough life was in L.A., especially in the more poverty stricken parts of the city. The people portrayed in the film had a purpose in live. Not all of them lived to kill each other and have their children repeat the process. A lot of the main characters in the film wanted to be more, but did not have the opportunity. Many were victims of the violence that occurred during that time in that part of the state. All of the character’s lives in the film had meaning. Doughboy was unfortunate to not have a mother or a father that cared enough for him to keep him from making a lot of the mistakes that he made. His mother was more focused on Ricky rather than him. It was not a big surprise that he did not go on to pursue bigger and better things. Tre was fortunate enough to have a mother and a father who cared about his future and life while he was growing up; teaching him important life rules and lessons to live by.
Doughboy and Ricky both contributed to each others lives. Doughboy looked out and stood up for Ricky because, in his heart and mind, he knew that if there was anyone who was going to make something of himself it was going to be Ricky. Ricky had his mother’s blessing and support to do whatever he wanted. Unfortunately, Ricky could not get past his own pride and respect and fell to the violence and gang activity before he could get away from the streets and go to college to get a great education and a possible scholarship to play football.
Tre was faced with an incredible situation when Ricky was gunned down. I, honestly, do not know what I would have done. I have a friend or two that are as close to me as Ricky and Tre were, but I do not know if I could shot or even kill anyone else for killing them. I can not judge anyone else for wanting or feeling like they wanted to kill the person who killed their friend because I have not been in that situation. Tre was extremely brave and courageous for giving into his dad and eventually getting out of the car before Doughboy killed the guys that killed Ricky. I figured that Doughboy and his friends would have gone after and killed the guys that shot Ricky, but I would have been extremely surprised if Tre was with them. From how I can only imagined how I would have felt if I was in this situation, I can somewhat understand how the horrible cycle of violence continues. Tre’s dad Furious talked about all of the liquor and gun shops in the neighborhood, I can see why the violence was so prevalent.

Where is the Peace? - MONICA WEIR

When I looked up the film “Boyz n the Hood? on the Internet Movie Database it showed the tagline to be INCREASE THE PEACE which I don’t believe accurately represented the storyline. For the most part, this posse of ghetto Los Angeles teenagers is looking for the exact opposite of peace. Instead we see them constantly flashing their handguns and swearing at anyone in sight. If the tagline is advertised as such to reflect the views of Furious Styles, Tre’s father, I don’t believe that it was successfully achieved by his character either. Throughout the film Furious preaches to his son and his cronies, about a conspiracy theory. While standing on a corner surrounded by a crowd of black men he asks, “Why is it that there is a gun shop on almost every corner in this community?? and answers his own question by explaining to the eager listeners, “For the same reason that there is a liquor store on almost every corner in the black community. Why? They want us to kill ourselves.? This theory represents that depicted by Kenneth Chan in his article, The Construction of Black Male Identity in Black Action Films of the Nineties. Chan recants a 1990s pole taken by the New York Times/CBS in which it was discovered that “60 percent of blacks in New York believe or at least admit the possibility that the easy accessibility of drugs in poor black communities is part of a government conspiracy? (Chan 36).

Rather than a tagline related to that of universal peace, I think this film successfully promotes finding personal peace. As Furious watches Tre experience perils of the hood, his role as a father is not to baby-step his son through them, but to guide him in the best direction. It is ultimately Tre’s inner strength and belief in right vs. wrong that gets him through hardships. By avoiding a potentially dangerous situation which he knows to be the wrong path of action he is demonstrating a single act of finding personal PEACE.

Where is the Peace? - MONICA WEIR

When I looked up the film “Boyz n the Hood? on the Internet Movie Database it showed the tagline to be INCREASE THE PEACE which I don’t believe accurately represented the storyline. For the most part, this posse of ghetto Los Angeles teenagers is looking for the exact opposite of peace. Instead we see them constantly flashing their handguns and swearing at anyone in sight. If the tagline is advertised as such to reflect the views of Furious Styles, Tre’s father, I don’t believe that it was successfully achieved by his character either. Throughout the film Furious preaches to his son and his cronies, about a conspiracy theory. While standing on a corner surrounded by a crowd of black men he asks, “Why is it that there is a gun shop on almost every corner in this community?? and answers his own question by explaining to the eager listeners, “For the same reason that there is a liquor store on almost every corner in the black community. Why? They want us to kill ourselves.? This theory represents that depicted by Kenneth Chan in his article, The Construction of Black Male Identity in Black Action Films of the Nineties. Chan recants a 1990s pole taken by the New York Times/CBS in which it was discovered that “60 percent of blacks in New York believe or at least admit the possibility that the easy accessibility of drugs in poor black communities is part of a government conspiracy? (Chan 36).

Rather than a tagline related to that of universal peace, I think this film successfully promotes finding personal peace. As Furious watches Tre experience perils of the hood, his role as a father is not to baby-step his son through them, but to guide him in the best direction. It is ultimately Tre’s inner strength and belief in right vs. wrong that gets him through hardships. By avoiding a potentially dangerous situation which he knows to be the wrong path of action he is demonstrating a single act of finding personal PEACE.

Girlz ‘N the Hood by Nyssa Shawstad

The film Boyz ‘N the Hood was largely male centric. There were few female characters and their portrayal was largely unfavorable. The two mother figures both were shown as somewhat distant, though for different reasons and in different ways. All the neighborhood girls were trashy and one dimensional. Even Tre’s girlfriend was the stereotypical ‘good’ catholic school girl. Rick’s girl was little more than his baby’s momma with virtually no dialogue or personality. They all fell within the simplistic “good/bad dualism? frequently found in Hollywood images of people of color (Chan 37).
They were further marginalized by the constant use of bitch, ho and whore. Most the characters did not even address the labels and the ones that did were not really reflective. Doughboy repeatedly suggested that women were essentially valueless. I think the oppression of women in the community is another facet of what Chan describes as “the unfortunate phenomena of autodestruction? (38). The males are externalizing the repression they feel from society. Essentially, if they are low on the social ladder, they need to make sure someone else is underneath him.
Sadly, if a film was made from the female perspective it would lose its drawing power. They would over sentimentalize the tragedies while cutting down on the violence. It would probably run like a Lifetime Original or some spiritual conversion. However it would not have been too difficult to just flesh out the women in the movie. To give them agency as individuals outside of “wife/girlfriend/mother? would have resulted in a more compelling and less sensational film.

WORKS CITED
Chan, Kenneth. “The Construction of Black Male Identity in Black Action Films of the Nineties? Cinema Journal, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Winter, 1998) pp. 35-48.

Reflections on "Boyz 'N The Hood" by Thanh Diep Truong

As some might have criticized, the film Boyz n The Hood clearly shows the sense of nihilism in black youth culture. I strongly disagree with that. I think the movie does not show any sense of nihilism. The movie gives the audience a sense of how important family, friendship, future are. There are purpose and values that the characters in the movie posses. It shows how crucial it is for the younger generation to have role model, just like Tre has his father as his guidance, teaching him self-discipline and moral of life. I believe that the death of Ricky and Doughboy doesn't make their lives meaningless. Ricky lived his life full of value and ambitions in my opinion. His purpose is to get to college, have a career, raise own family and get out of the mist, of trouble, of shooting and killing. He does have values and moral. It's just too bad that he got killed over some mistakes that his brother made. I think he lived his short life well enough, with love and ambitions. On the other hand, Doughboy was quite different from Ricky. He didn't really have a purpose in mind or any ambitions whatsoever. He was wasting his time drinking, partying and doing nothing. However, I don't see his life as being nihilism. He knows to love his friends and his family, even though most of the time he doesn't act and talk like he does. I wouldn't call his life nihilism, but a mistake. He makes mistakes, big ones. I think the phrase "if only" plays a big part in Doughboy's life and characteristics. If only he didn't get drunk all day, if only he didn't show off his gun on that night with the other gang, if only he didn't fight with Ricky, if only he didn't get revenge for Ricky...if only...The whole thing was a huge mistake. He is a man with love for his brother, for his family, it's just that he doesn't show it well and doesn't do any helpful thing for them. I really believe the actions of the characters refute the charge of nihilism.
At the end of the film, when Tre sees Ricky got shot, and got really angry about the incident. It was all against what his father had taught him all his life. He was supposed to stay out of trouble and he would be okay. Seeing his friend Ricky, a good person, a future college student, got shot for not doing anything wrong, made him question whether what he was taught is true. Ricky didn't do anything wrong, didn't start any fight with anyone, then why did he get killed???? I think ultimately, I would have done what Ricky did. I would forget all the disciplines I was taught for all my life and get revenge. I admire Tre for realizing his mistake before committing it. It was a good decision not to go along and get revenge for Ricky. Violence does turn out to become a cycle. Someone has to think right and stops the cycle, otherwise violence can't ever be stopped.

Boyz 'N The Hood and Nihilism - Ned Rupp

I think that traits of nihilism were evident in many characters in the movie, but to say that they didn't care about anything, or didn't see any purpose to life, is definitely not true. Ricky, for example, had ambition, which is shown through his dreams of becoming a football player at USC. He works hard at school, and seems to have his priorities straight, even while having a child. From the beginning of the movie we know that Tre has morals, because his dad stresses them constantly. A good example is when he stops Tre and yells at him when Tre grabs his gun and is about to go out and look for Ricky's killer. Tre seems to be the smartest one of the teenagers. He doesn't go along with Darin when Darin shoots Ricky's killer, which shows that he has at least a healthy amount of common sense. I think Ricky's brother, Darin, does shows traits of nihilism by just drinking on his porch all day, with apparently no ambition whatsoever, and by shooting Ricky's killer, although I guess you can say that that was somewhat justified in a way. The director showed nihilistic traits well in his characters, but his characters weren't totally nihilistic.

Cole Storer-Boyz 'N the Hood

The movie Boyz ‘N The Hood is an accurate representation of how upper class America found a way around the civil rights movement. From the start of the movie it is apparent that the setting shows the level of poverty these kids are growing up in. “The man? is holding these members of the black community down. It is shown a few times during the movie. For instance when Furious shoots at the intruder in his house, the black cop suggests that it was a bad thing that he had not shot the “nigger? after showing up an hour after he had called 911. Another instance of this is at the end of the movie when Furious, who I like to refer to as the voice of reason, is explaining to the people how the government is trying to keep them down by putting liquor stores on every corner, by trying to kill them. He is completely right. John Singleton was putting the fact that even 30 years after the civil rights movement the black people of America were still being suppressed out there, “Capitalism, more interestingly described by James Nadell as "racist capitalism" in his essay "Boyz N tlte Hood: A Colonial Analysis," works toward maintaining the socioeconomic status of the rich and suppressing the
attempts of the black underclass to overcome poverty and suffering?(Chan, 37), He is arguing that although the civil rights movement gave afro- Americans the hope of advancing in the capitalist market of the United States and climbing out of the pit of poverty, that their attempts would be unnoticed. It was about the rich getting richer from day one. This movie was excellent at showing how society found a way around going through with the civil rights movement 100%.

Cole Storer-Boyz 'N the Hood

The movie Boyz ‘N The Hood is an accurate representation of how upper class America found a way around the civil rights movement. From the start of the movie it is apparent that the setting shows the level of poverty these kids are growing up in. “The man? is holding these members of the black community down. It is shown a few times during the movie. For instance when Furious shoots at the intruder in his house, the black cop suggests that it was a bad thing that he had not shot the “nigger? after showing up an hour after he had called 911. Another instance of this is at the end of the movie when Furious, who I like to refer to as the voice of reason, is explaining to the people how the government is trying to keep them down by putting liquor stores on every corner, by trying to kill them. He is completely right. John Singleton was putting the fact that even 30 years after the civil rights movement the black people of America were still being suppressed out there, “Capitalism, more interestingly described by James Nadell as "racist capitalism" in his essay "Boyz N tlte Hood: A Colonial Analysis," works toward maintaining the socioeconomic status of the rich and suppressing the
attempts of the black underclass to overcome poverty and suffering?(Chan, 37), He is arguing that although the civil rights movement gave afro- Americans the hope of advancing in the capitalist market of the United States and climbing out of the pit of poverty, that their attempts would be unnoticed. It was about the rich getting richer from day one. This movie was excellent at showing how society found a way around going through with the civil rights movement 100%.

Josh Zaborowski

I enjoyed watching this film, it showed the social and economic differences between the black and white culture. The film does ignore the women's perspective. The film portrays women as almost second class citizens. The women are largely ignored and just seen as objects. The society led or influenced women to go against their morals and better judgment by having relations, because they thought that is what they had to do. It was almost like it was expected of them. The women were called "bitch" and "ho" and "whore". These words were extremely offensive names to call a women. But again these names and actions towards women were just accepted as a common natural occurrence. I think the attitude of the film would have been very different if the views of women would have been told. It would have offered a very different opinion on the happenings of that time period. And also would have made it possible to compare and contrast the views of both the men and the women. But either way I eel this was a very informative well done film.

Boyz 'N the Hood -- Chris Hansen

It is tough to say whether or not this film can be considered nihilistic. Throughout the movie, it exemplifies many fine examples for either side of the argument. As is the case with many of the movies we watch, the "theme" of the movie can vary greatly depending upon one's interpretation of the events that transpire. My take on this film is that it is a film of prosperity and perseverance, two traits not usually associated with nihilism. John Singleton, the man responsible for the creation of this film, set out with a goal. Boyz 'N the Hood attempts to show that beneath the mass chaos often shown on TV (in the ghettos), there is still some semblance of order, and still a code of ethics and morals that many people choose to live by, regardless of race, religion, or economic status. Tre is a prime example of the effects that solid parenting has upon a child. Ricky is another bright spot in the otherwise bleak and dark neighborhood, as he is trying extremely hard to get into an excellent college, where he can prosper and rise above his miserable home. Clearly, these boys have something to live for, and they have the drive and determination to make it, in the face of prejudice and poverty. These types of uplifting stories would not be found in a movie attempting to portray the nihilism found in ghettos.

Boyz 'N The Hood - Meghan Frank

The black police officer in Boyz 'N The Hood represents the self hatred Kenneth Chan writes about in his article. The officer sees Tre and all the others in "the hood" as what is wrong with their race. They personify the problems of all black people and the officer is taking his rage out on them. By saying that Furious should have killed the burglar because there would be "one less nigger on the street" he is vocalizing his anger with himself.

By contrast Furious calls the police officer "brother" to say that they have to stick together and not turn on each other if they want to better themselves. Furious is proud of being black and knows that the only way to survive is to rise above the negative and not get sucked into the continuous cycle of hatred and violence.

Christopher Lewis Boyz in the Hood

War and violence is a prevalent part of our society. Urban war happens all over America, creating violence between races, genders, and social classes. Boyz in the Hood represents the inner city warring culture of LA. This movie reminded me of my experiences in Newberg, OR. Our town was in the lower economic class and had a lot of hispanic feuds, along with drug problems. The problem of young minorities finding their place in America leads to many issues, usually becoming a problem degrading the community and making things worse for the generations to come. This movie shows how those who can make it out may not be able to do to certain situations, and those who can't make it out make things worse for others. It reminds me of the problems the US had trying to fix poor foreign countries when it has problems on its own soils where these communities are as much foreign as those outside of the US.

Boyz 'N the Hood - Tammy Woehler

First of all, let me say this is one heck of a depressing movie. Everything about it is so sad. What the citizens of south central L.A. have to deal with day in and day out, it's ridiculous. Funny thing is, the movie came out how long ago and how many people have seen it, but yet have things changed dramatically?

I definitely agree that the women's perspectives are largely ignored in the film. The one lady who was always asking for crack, is a good example. There was no explanation for how she got where she did in her life, but obviously it was not done by anything good. She must have had bad leadership as a child herself. Now, the lady has children and is making the same mistakes, just to let her children grow up and add to the hell that is the life of the inner city citizens. She doesn't take care of her kids in the way that her two year old can run around unsupervised and end up in the middle of the street. Another great example is Ricky's mother. The way she treated Ricky as a child and the way she treated Doughboy were complete polar opposites. Ricky was treated so well compared to Doughboy. Ricky was the one who was always playing football, giving his mother hope that he would have the ability to leave someday. Doughboy didn't do much of anything as a child and his mother treated him as if he wouldn't amount to anything when he grew up. As children you could already see the difference in the attitudes and actions of the two children. Ricky was always playing football, being the "good" child while Doughboy was talking back to his mother and stealing things, leading him to juvenile detention centers and so forth.

Lauren Kolsum reflection on Boyz 'N The Hood

Boyz 'N The Hood was an insightful film which showed just how easily things can go on a downward spiral of violence. I don't think it was a nihilistic film, it does not protray the black youth's existence as meaningless and of no value. The film actually goes against that way of thinking by showing the frustration and confusion the main characters feel at times of helplessness. It shows how some get stuck in the old violent drunken patterns of their neighborhood while others strive to break it. There are feelings of hoplessness around their neighborhood because it's as if they have no one to back them up. the police force obviously aren't reliable showing up late if at all and going beyond their authority by belittling innocent men. That is where the reviews of it being a nihilistic film must have came from, the fact that the people of power deem the youth as worthless. The film's protrayal of the cops, however, was far from honorable. They were unfair and unjust people with distorted perceptions of humanity who should not have been given a badge and a gun.
The film personalized the characters, making the audience feel what they felt. There was nothing any one could do when Ricky died, his best friend watched him take the bullets, and his mom and girlfriend watched him bleed to death. There's no way an ambulance would have gotten there in time or that there was a hospital with in close enough vicinity to the shooting. All anyone could do was scream and cry for the loss of their brother, friend, son, boyfriend, and father. Ricky meant so much to those around him, he would have gone on to college and played football, thus defying the pattern of his neighborhood. He had already made a family for himself that he left behind. It shows a violent prone society, one where death is accepted as fate and where the time of death doesn't matter. weeks before doughboy was murdered he told Tre that he accepted it and that "We all go sometime." That way of life is not how it has to be. I recall Furious telling the group of people how there is a liquor and gun store on every corner because "they want us to kill ourselves." He thought it was the whites/governments way of getting rid of the black community. The film personalizes these views of how unfair and unforgiving the urban Los Angeles area was and what a struggle it was for the black youth to get out alive .

Thomas Campbell - Boyz 'N The Hood

In this film there is a lack of consideration for women and how they are portrayed in this film. The treatment of women in the film was rather appalling. The constant use of “bitch? and “ho? when referring to women shows how appalling the treatment was. It was surprising that none of them seemed to take offense to it. The girls just shrugged it off, because it happened all the time. Women in the film were only shown as mothers and hook ups, and they were shown negatively. There were many examples of this. In the beginning of the film when the daughter was across the street, two of the boys were fussing over whose girlfriend she is, one of boys said he “puts his dick in her every night.? Tre’s mother sends him to live with his dad after issues at school. She attempts to get back in his life and neither Tre’s nor his father wanted this to happen. Tre’s had no respect for his mother and even blows off a weekend with her to stay with his “boyz?. Older women in the film are shown as crack heads, or even abusive mothers. In one scene a child is found out on the street and when brought back inside by a male the mother did not seem to care that the child was out on the road almost run over. Kitwana explains, “Parents may not be perfect and at times fit into neat stereotypes (such as welfare mothers), but they hold their families together as best they can? (pp. 125). Women usually stayed out of violence in the film, and wanted their families and children stay out of it as well. Men in the film treated the women as if they were ignorant, and did not listen to the women’s views, even though they would have been better off doing so. The fact that men did not listen to their women’s views emphasizes that women’s perspectives are largely ignored in the film. However with regards to this idea that women’s perspectives were largely ignored in the film, we have to remember the film is called “Boyz n the Hood?. The main characters of the film were males, and the women were not important to the films story line. John Singleton created this film to show the view of drugs and violence within the poor inner city with the use of male characters.
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Boyz 'N The Hood/ Kyle Cross

Kitwana discusses how nihilism “dominates? films such as Boyz ‘N The Hood, but I feel that among all the chaos and hopelessness that is depicted in the film there is underlying motives that would not be considered nihilistic. If Boyz ‘N The Hood was truly nihilistic, then there would be absolutely no morals or values present. Morals, values and beliefs vary from society to society and in this crime stricken neighborhood, which at times, is deduced to basic survival instincts, we see how the ethics change (Kitwana 124). One might claim that the young characters portrayed in the film have no ethics, but I would argue that they have a very strong code of ethics, regardless of how unethical our society would perceive them. One example would be when Doughboy avenges his brother’s death. I believe it was the moral obligation he had to fulfill, this eye for an eye mentality that was present in the youth culture of the film. The police weren’t about to do anything about it, so it was the only way he thought justice could be served. Some truly ethical moments in the film include moments such as, Tre saving the infant from being hit by the oncoming car or Doughboy and Ricky’s mother allowing them to continue living with in her home regardless of their situation which acknowledged the importance of family. There is definitely ethics present throughout the film and therefore I believe this negates Kitwana’s claim that nihilism dominates this film.

Boyz N the Hood is not a nihl

Boyz 'N The Hood commentary by Jenna Johnson

“Boyz ‘N The Hood? was, safe to say, different than any movie I have ever seen. It disturbed me to think about the things in this film happening in real life, yet we have learned the plot of Boyz is not all that far from the truth when it comes to Los Angeles and other large cities, in the 80’s and beyond. For example, the nihilistic attitudes of black youth culture is one aspect of popular discussion that was portrayed well by some characters in this film, especially the men that shot Ricky to death. Also, as Kitwana remarks, “you also see a different strain of [nihilism] in Doughboy’s worldview. He’s not so much a rebel without a cause as he is doing what he feels he’s got to do so survive.? That is, sometime Doughboy dishes out the typical nihilistic actions like the stereotypical black youth, but he always seems to know the cost of things in the back of his head, and is willing to accept whatever it is. Tre, on the other hand, is the antithesis of nihilism in this film, a product of his caring father and positive upbringing. Overall, there are some characters that exhibit nihilistic qualities as they are expected, but also a few who refute such behaviors and attitudes.

In the end of the film, we truly see how, as James Nadell puts it, “[t]he raw human tragedy and triumph depicted by Singleton sears and energizes the consciousness of the viewer.? Ricky’s death scene is difficult to watch, and we can feel the hatred for his killers emanating from the eyes of Tre and Doughboy. Doughboy is determined to avenge his brother’s death, as is Tre at first, but then we see the distinction between these two characters when Tre decides not to go along. The vulnerability of the situation feeds Doughboy’s nihilistic attitude, which is why he goes through with murdering his brother’s killer, to whom Ricky’s life was meaningless. It is here where perhaps the “cycle of violence? in this community is slightly better understood to be somewhat of a basic means of survival, unfortunately.

Cameron Lee

I thought this film was one of the better ones seen in the class. It had a much more realistic aspect to it and as everything was put together it came out as a real amazing movie. It does a good job of showing the great gap in the relative standings of the white culture versus the black culture. I have to agree with everyone else in that it portrays women in a much lower position than one would like to see, where it pushes them to lose their virginity and just have children despite their beliefs or religion. There would have been drastic changes had the film had it been told from a different point of view. As sad as their situation may be, it would seem that it has been going on in many places for a long time. In this new age one would have hoped it would have died off. Tre's father had the right view on what was really happening in the advice he had given him.

Kyle Anderson- Boyz n the Hood

The film “Boyz n the Hood? is meant to be a “slice of life? depicting the hardships facing black adolescents. While the film illuminates the often ignored social and economic problems facing the black community, it nevertheless glorifies the criminal mentality and further exacerbates existing problems facing black youth. Film executives claimed that similar “gangster films? were simply capturing what was going on in the lives of today’s young blacks, yet they failed to take into account the long term ramifications on black youth. In the article “Young, Don’t Give a Fuck, and Black: Black Gangster Films? by Bakari Kitwana, the author states that the “media and entertainment corporations rediscovered Blackness as a commodity.? (123) Just like the blaxploitation movies of the 70s, gangster films were created with only profit in mind, despite what film executives said.

Kitwana states that “contemporary discussion of race in America, locked in a 1960’s-style civil rights time warp, has failed to consider how young Blacks are affected by unique social forces that have created problems different from those of our parent’s generation? (122). Black inner-city youths face pressure not only from coming of age problems, such as sexuality and SATs, but also have to deal with the horrors of violent crime, drug addiction, and poverty. They are forced to grow up quick and ultimately realize that getting out of the hood ultimately rests upon them. Furious shows that having a positive influence can make all the difference, offering fatherly advice such as “Any fool with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children.? The morals instilled on Tre by his father undoubtedly have a positive impact, as seen at the end of the movie when he decides to not exact revenge. This act shows a glimmer of sunshine through cloudy skies as Tre realizes that change is possible, but real change first comes from within.

Boyz N tha Hood by Matt Morosky

To be perfect honest, I believe John Singleton's Boyz N tha Hood is one of the better films of the 1990's. The underlying theme that I felt was the most powerful is one that many African-American leaders still discuss today as a major problem within the African-American community: a lack of a father figure in many homes. I diassagree with the idea that this film paints a negative portrait of women because if it weren't for the hard work of all the single mother's in urban areas, there would be absolutely no hope at all. While hope is minimal, it still exists and these young men have oppurtunities no matter how adverse the situations are.
Filmed and set in the early 1990's, this is a depiction of South Central Los Angeles and the problems that plague its residents. Drugs, Gangs, corrupt cops, you name it...It is a wonderful film, and I feel a very critical film made by an African-American director that challenges people of all races, espeically african-american males, to see and examine the importance of a father figure in a young man's life. Trey's father brought him up with dicipline and convictions and really showed Trey the right way to the path of manhood. While he wasn't a perfect man, he still took care of his son and did the right things for him that enabled Trey to eventually move on and go to college, unlike Ricky (who is brutally shot) and Doughboy (who we find out would later die in a retaliation killing). It shows the racism that exists, but more importantly it shows that people can overcome it. I feel that John Singleton truly created in Boyz N tha Hood an urban masterpieces that has yet to be equaled by any writer/director capturing the urban existance for the african-american male.

Role Models

After watching the movie Boyz 'N The Hood, it has become clear to me how important role models are to children. While not every child who does not have a role model growing up "falls" to the streets, it is safe to say that the chances are greatly increased. The fact that Tre' had someone to give him advice and teach him values and morals makes him have a positive conscience that guides him in times of need. The younger a child is, the more likely they are to take in a mentors messages and make these words of inspiration a part of their central being. To say that the movie is nihilistic may go slightly overboard. While obviously many of the kids in this movie have problems establishing a set of values and morals, this does not link to the fact that black youth culture has no purpose. What can be proven is that if a child has a role model, whether it be a parent or just a friend willing to teach lessons, they are much more likely to use these values and morals that are instilled in them. Without a mentor, a child is forced to make a spur of the moment decision in the heat of the moment. If Tre had not had values instilled in him from an early age, he may have made a completely different decision on getting revenge for Ricky's death. Every child deserves a role model and this movie just helps us notice the importance of morals and values in relation to living in a "rough" part of town and ultimately living a rough life.

Boyz 'N the Hood

I think this movie presented an accurate depiction of the African-American community in south central Los Angeles. In the early 1990’s in this area many African-Americans were living in poverty. Due to racist views and violent action taken by the police riots broke out in 1991 and before that in the mid 1960’s. During this time there were several social movements going on and African-Americans were still demanding equal rights. Along with this movement the black youth would still encounter several obstacles in hope for equal rights.
In last week’s class we talked about the African American culture in Los Angeles, during the 1990’s. In contrast with white society we were able to see the disadvantage that African-Americans faced. In the black community there was little offered to African-Americans that would help them prosper. There was a lack of education, health care and even things like grocery stores. There were gun shops, bars, and drug dealers on every corner. There was little opportunity for jobs or a chance to improve ones economic standing. Boys ‘N the Hood effectively shows “what it means to be young and Black in America at the dawn of the new millennium? (Bakari, 122). It shows the ignorance of American white society. They did not know about these communities, or if they did showed little compassion for its people. Americans did little to help these people. Grant Flatgard

In the Hood - Dominic Nemmers

By “1960’s style civil rights time warp?, Kitwana is expressing the thoughts and the reasoning that went into figuring out the race problems of the 1960’s won’t expressly work for the problems of today. This is manifested in the film with the seeming separation of the issues by the two generations: Furious seeing the economic and financial problems with declining property values leading to lesser prosperity in the black community, and Tre and his friends seeing the day to day struggle with drugs and violence and complacency. The struggle from the 60’s is more about the rights of which they wanted to accrue, while the problems of today lead mostly with survival and complacency.
I don’t portray Boyz as a nihilistic film, but it does have streaks of it. The three gang-bangers who shot down Rickey are seen later eating at a fast-food restaurant as though it didn’t even happen. Tre and Rickey are two characters in the movie that aren’t happy with believing life isn’t about anything, and really go against the nihilistic tendencies portrayed in many of the black gangster type movies of the time.
The policeman’s hatred is really a two part issues. On the one hand, he blames the black youth for causing the problems that he has to deal with on a day to day basis. The other part is that he doesn’t see that his heavy handed nature and his thinking that all black youth are inherently bad and criminals perpetrates the same problems he is trying to solve.
Tre’s mother did make the right choice because it was obvious that he needed to be taught the right morals of how to be a man, and living in a tough time by his father. Her motivation was ultimately of goodness for Tre, although by giving him up, she was being self-serving at the same time. She was trying to advance her career and move into the middle class, and that would’ve been much tougher raising a child at the same time. She was partly abandoning her son, but she also realized that Furious could give him a better upbringing than she could.

Boyz 'N The Hood -Brenna Munoz

While many teachers frequently use films based upon real historical events as tools for educational purposes, Stoddard and Marcus, in the reading entitled “The Burden of Historical Representation: Race, Freedom, and 'Educational' Hollywood Film,? argue that the use of Hollywood Films in classrooms may be problematic and should be used cautiously in order to avoid naïve misunderstandings. Stoddard and Marcus make an extremely valid point, and I agree that if not used appropriately, certain Hollywood Films used as educational tools may not always be beneficial to students and give them a skewed idea of certain issues, particularly those revolving around racism. For example, when watching the film Boyz 'N The Hood, many students, especially younger audiences, are not always completely media literate which may lead them to over generalize African Americans as the way they were portrayed in the film, and assume that all African Americans live lives such as "Tre" and "Doughboy". As a result, many teachers, instead of reinforcing the roles of different cultures and providing the desired perspective of the problems of racial issues throughout history, may actually be further contributing to this continuous cycle of racial biases within the students themselves.

It is extremely important for the students to understand that most all media is Market-driven. Due to this market driven attitude, many Hollywood films, even if based on actual historical events, are not always completely accurate and often include many fabrications in order to make it more entertaining and appealing to various audiences. As a result, it may not always be in a teacher’s best interest, particularly those of Middle and High school students, to use Hollywood Films in the classroom as educational tools. If used, the film should be accompanied by thorough discussion of the possible misconceptions of media and the importance of holding a critical viewpoint in order to avoid naïve misunderstandings.

Boyz 'N The Hood -Brenna Munoz

Many teachers frequently use films based upon real historical events as tools for educational purposes; However, Stoddard and Marcus, in the reading entitled “The Burden of Historical Representation: Race, Freedom, and 'Educational' Hollywood Film,? argue that the use of Hollywood Films in classrooms may be problematic and should be used cautiously in order to avoid naïve misunderstandings. Stoddard and Marcus make an extremely valid point, and I agree that if not used appropriately, certain Hollywood Films used as educational tools may not always be beneficial to students and give them a skewed idea of certain issues, particularly those revolving around racism. For example, when watching the film Boyz 'N The Hood, many students, especially younger audiences, are not always completely media literate which may lead them to over generalize African Americans as the way they were portrayed in the film, and assume that all African Americans live lives such as "Tre" and "Doughboy". As a result, many teachers, instead of reinforcing the roles of different cultures and providing the desired perspective of the problems of racial issues throughout history, may actually be further contributing to this continuous cycle of racial biases within the students themselves.

It is extremely important for the students to understand that most all media is Market-driven. Due to this market driven attitude, many Hollywood films, even if based on actual historical events, are not always completely accurate and often include many fabrications in order to make it more entertaining and appealing to various audiences. As a result, it may not always be in a teacher’s best interest, particularly those of Middle and High school students, to use Hollywood Films in the classroom as educational tools. If used, the film should be accompanied by thorough discussion of the possible misconceptions of media and the importance of holding a critical viewpoint in order to avoid naïve misunderstandings.

Kendra Elm Boyz 'N the Hood

I do agree with the idea that the women’s perspective was largely ignored in the film. The main characters of the film were all males, and the women were not important to the story line of the film. The plot centered around the difficult life of the black males. Women in the film were only shown as mothers and hook ups and, most of which, were shown in a negative sense. The main characters in the film through around the words ho, bitch, and whore as if they were just another way to say girl. I found it surprising that none of them seemed to take offense to it. The girls just shrugged it off, because it happened all the time.

One scene that really stuck out in my mind when we talk about the light in which women were shown in this film is when Tre picks up the baby off the street and brings her to the house. The woman answers the door and she doesn’t even care that her child was just about to be hit by a car, instead all she wants is more drugs. I couldn’t believe it when I saw this scene and I think it summarizes the portrayal of women in the entire film. As useless people who just have children and don’t know what to do with them, in all honestly they really are just bitches and whores.

I think the film would have been very different had it been told from the perspective of women, because the trouble with all the shootings and gangs wouldn’t have been as prevalent. Instead there would have been much more discussion about not working and about raising children on their own. There were of course aspects of the film, however had it been told by women they would have been much more prevelant.

A slight, but necessary departure from "race"-Eric Gonzalez

First in order to make sense of the following analysis of "Boys N' the Hood" I should first preface by saying that I do not use the word "race" to describe the superficial skin pigment differences among people of the world. I do this because people too often refer to race as reality instead of an illusion. The term "race" suggests an irreconcilable biological rift between populations of people that can only present itself as competition, not collaboration. There is no such thing as race. The human species, like all animals are present with genetic variation within a population. This genetic difference can be manifest in many different ways. Sometimes displayed "phenotypically" or carried as a result of incomplete dominance". Skin color in humans is determined not by one, two or three different alleles but actually over THREE HUNDRED dominant, recessive, and linked genes sometimes all three. The fact is that even between siblings of the same two parents skin color can vary significantly. Most often it does not because 300+ alleles tend to average together mathematically. Another fact is that the divergence of human populations is relatively recent, and the most recent common ancestor even more-so. The take-home message is that there is no factual basis for discrimination or to believe that on average blacks have less potential.

I think the film rightly points out as with the scene where furious takes the boys to the site of a foreclosure, that many of these ethnic conflicts start out and continue as economic exploitation. Those in east the L.A suburbs were
expected to pay taxes and contribute to the economy but the fact is they didn't even have a hospital. That coupled with the general manufacturing exodus lead to a perfect storm of poverty and age-old American tension.

Sadly a parallel can be drawn to Iraq. There as we see, different religious and ethnic factions are killing and exploiting each other for the promise of oil wealth and power. Meanwhile the whole country's infrastructure continues to deteriorate.

A suppose that does lead to a sense of Nihilism. When your environment repeatedly tells you that you are worth nothing and will not be missed, it starts to sink in. Whether it's joining the army or joining a gang, the options for some a so limited that situations of desperation can lead into a self-sustaining regressive spiral. I think the only way out is to first acknowledge that race doesn't exist and then to invest in the success of these poor neighborhoods regardless of ethnic makeup. If that requires digging up the city of los angeles to expand the rail system then we should look at it as an opportunity to create a lot of jobs in construction and transportation and an opportunity to invest in infrastructure. Anything is better than that L.A. traffic.

Boyz N the Hood - Chimezie Ononenyi

It was quite a well directed movie that shows what it is like growing up as a black kid in a poor American community. Producers implemented the use of drugs and human abuse to show what the environment is like.

It seemed as though the older generation and the younger ones were caught in the same horrible welfare of the community and that there were no end in sight because they were continuously passed down to the younger generations. Tre worked hard to live a different life but the movie showed that no matter what, one's community does have a role in one's personality and way of living.

I do agree with Kitwana in that that the problems of the younger generation were passed down from their parents because they were born in the midst of a radical change to the perception and way of life of the American community. It is understandable that an establishment of regarding the blacks as inferior people, which lasted for many years would not just vanish within a couple years in the 60s.

Therefore knowing that the 60s human rights events are relatively not too far of a history, it makes sense that some of the frustrations and chaos within the black community would easily be passed down to the younger generations.

Tom Lulic - Boyz n the Hood

The black officer in this week’s film represents a closer look a broader subject. The theme correlated with this certain policeman is one of plague. The plague of hostility and brutality in South Central, L.A. The officer shows how the police force in this area is seemingly apathetic toward protection and crime prevention which illustrates the overwhelming weight of violence. What difference would it make what authorities do? Crime will always exist. Why exert an effort that will make no difference? These are things that are demonstrated by this particular officer. His laziness and late arrival to a crime scene shows that no matter what this constant violence will never cease. And his hatred is a clear depiction of the frustration due to the helplessness incurred from the environment. Also this hatred may be a representation of, as Chan notes, “a hatred of self, Blackness? (41). Chan also says, “hatred of self is characteristic of intrapsychic racial conflicts in segregated societies? (41). This may offer a reasonable explanation to why this officer conducts himself the way he does in this film.

Boy'z N'The Hood - Cameron White

First off I want to say the Boy’s N’ The Hood was in my opinion the best film that we have watch throughout the entire semester. I think it was because it dealt with a more current time period compared to other films/documentaries that we have watched in class. Racism is something that has always been an ongoing issue throughout the United States, some places being more of an issue then others. When I think of racism I think of the days of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, when they stood up for the black community, risking their own lives for the greater good of society. Before watching this film I had no idea what it was like to being living in Los Angeles during the 1980’s and all the trial and tribulations African Americans were faced with on a day by day basis. I believe that this movie stood for “equality?, the same thing that MLK and Malcolm X preached approximately twenty years earlier. Boys ‘N The Hood successfully shows “what it means to be young and Black in America at the dawn of the new millennium? (Bakari, 122).
The film does a great job of showing the difference in culture between whites and blacks. One example that was a continuous theme was how white people were given more opportunities and resources in becoming successful in life compared to people that were African Americans. Due to this it created many problems especially when it came to getting jobs. Because of this blacks were not able to get jobs that paid as well as white’s which for many people resulted in being very poor and being associated as people in poverty.
This film showed a clear image of what it is like to be Black in America and how hard times can be. I never really realized how strong racism is in our country still to this day until watching this film. Color should not determine what sorts of opportunities you are given. Everyone should be treated equal and that is the message that I received from the film, Boy’z N’ the Hood.

Alexander Culverwell

First of all I really enjoyed watching Boyz ‘N the Hood, especially how it dealt with the issues of the social aspects of being black and not having money, while growing up in an urban area. Even though someone may not be in the same situation economically and socially as someone who is living beside them in the same area. Kitwana article talks about, “The Black middle class lives in close proximity to the poor, and hence, suffers similar perils…Tre is caught up in the same drama faced by his less fortunate peers? (124-125). Tre gets to see what goes it is like being in a class that is lower than he is, so he knows what he does not want. This is probably one of the main reasons he did well. He knew where he did not want to be. One aspect that I really thought was good about the film was how black fathers were represented. The “Young, Don’t Give a Fuck and Black? article discusses how “his father’s guidance pulls him from the brink (whether in his decisions about sex, career choices, or his responsibility to avenge his friend’s death)…? (125). It is more usual for black children to not have a father than it is to have one. This leads to bad examples being shown and a bad cycle to begin, especially for the boys of the family. It is common for a father to dessert his children because that is what happened to him when he was growing up. This is due to fatherless men growing up by their own rules and idolizing the wrong people who will not set good examples on how to live their lives. However, Boyz ‘N The Hood, is a good example of how a good father figure can be for a young man. Tre’s father was an unusual father figure for the type of community that he grew up in. If Tre had not had the father figure he had, he probably would have grown up to be just like everyone else who were going no where.

Brian Andreen Boyz 'N the Hood

I found the treatment of women in the film Boyz ‘N the Hood rather disgruntling. The of all the people in the United States the African American community should know better than any other group of people how unjust it is to treat people disrespectfully simply because of how they were born. The constant use of “bitch? and “ho? when referring to women shows how despite the fact that they were oppressed, they did not mind oppressing others. It is sad, but it seems as if it is in the human nature be degrading to others so long as they can get away with it.

It also was obvious from the movie that from the viewpoint of the women the actions of the men were rather foolish. The women generally wanted to stay out of violence, and wanted for nothing more to have their families and children stay out of it as well. The men treated the women as if for the most part they were ignorant, yet it if the men simply listened to the women they would have been much better off.

The thing that possibly bothered me most about this film was the actions of the children and how the culture encouraged them. As shown in the video even in the deep inner city the people had the means to improve their lives. Many of the women in this film improved their lives and helped do so for their families, as well as some of the men who put their minds to it. Despite this, most of the people in this film ignored their possibilities of self betterment in order follow crime and drugs.

The greatest disappointment in this film was how even those who did not fall into moral stagnation, and were not content with the decay of their society and thus fought against it for their own betterment were dragged down by the rest of the society. In the film there were several examples of this but the greatest of them was when the college aspiring youth going to college on a scholarship was shot by a gang banger who had nothing to live for and based on his actions no future either.

It was also sad to see as was discussed in class and the readings how the city did not learn from its mistakes. The group assigned to inspecting what happened predicted that if something was not done to better the area the same thing only worse would recur. They were right. It does not surprise me that as nothing was done a second worse riot occurred, but it is shocking that the government does not out of simple humanity try to better the living conditions of the people living in areas like the inner city. It seems wrong to stand by while people live, and have their children raised in areas that are that corrupt and dangerous.

Candice Dehnbostel- Boyz 'N The Hood

Boyz ‘N The Hood tells the story of Tre and his family and friends. The group deals with urban life, violence and economic and social aspects of being black and disadvantaged. Whereas the generation before Tre dealt with issues of voting rights and public segregation, he deals with black-on-black violence, drug abuse and the criminalization of Black youth by police. Kitwana’s suggestion of a “1960’s-style civil rights time warp? (122) is accurate. His time warp shows the discussion of race in America is not including “unique social forces? (122) that affect individual African Americans. As discussed in class, African Americans were lumped into the category of rioters or criminals, not seen as people dealing with poverty, poor housing and inadequate education.

Nadell’s discussion of Furious’s statement about how drugs are not brought into the country by African Americans solidifies how skewed the criminalization and stereotyping of Black youth is (452). Narcotics, for Nadell, seem to be a driving force of the “within-group violence? (453) in the film. It seems to suggest characters like Doughboy and his friends steal, sell drugs, are violent and go to jail because they have no control over their lives. They must do these things to keep food on the table or stay alive.

Furious teaches Tre that personal responsibility is the way to escape life in “the hood.? He teaches Tre the importance of working hard, that violence does not solve problems and that school is crucial for success, among other things. As Tre decides to go along with Doughboy and the others to find Ricky’s killers, the senses of revenge and futility can be felt. The group wants to avenge Ricky, who was trying to get out of the hood, but they know they are only adding to the violence--what none of them like, but feel they can‘t avoid. Tre realizes nothing good can come from killing Ricky’s killers.

What many of the others in Doughboy’s group lack, as Furious says, is a parent who teaches them right from wrong and how to be a “man.? When Tre’s mother sent him to live with Furious, she was not abandoning him, but giving him a father, which many of the African American boys could not have. Furious acts as a moral authority that Tre can look up to. Without him to show Tre a way of life besides that of a drug dealer or criminal, Tre may have ended up much like Doughboy, or worse, dead.

Thoughts on Boyz N the Hood- Jasmine Omorogbe

This film really reminded me of my home, North Minneapolis. The issues portrayed in the film are lived out everyday there. The murder rate is through the roof, and almost always, it’s black-on-black crime. Murders are always high, and even more so in the summer when it’s hot and people are bored and irritable. As was illustrated in the film, the cycle of violence never stops. A member of one crew gets killed, then their people go to kill the people who did it, then their crew goes back for revenge. It is absolutely horrible and many people die over pride and unforgiveness.

As far as what happens at the end of the film, the cycle of violence is understandable from the viewpoint of the characters, but certainly wrong nonetheless. It hurts to lose someone you love, thus, the side of the victim becomes angry and full of rage, seeking out revenge. If there is one thing that is valued in the hood, it’s sticking with your people. If one person is in a fight, everyone with them is in a fight, somewhat like the “all for one, one for all? principle. So under that train of thought, if someone kills your boy, it wouldn’t be right for you to just let them get away with it. Then, they “won?. I can definitely understand the mix of rage, passion and anger, the friends and family of Ricky felt. It was worse because he had so much promise and potential. They looked up to him as the one who would make it out of the hood, and ironically, essentially, it was the hood that killed him.

One thing I really admired in the film was Furious’ character. The “Young, Don’t Give a Fuck and Black? article discusses how “his father’s guidance pulls him from the brink (whether in his decisions about sex, career choices, or his responsibilty to avenge his friend’s death)…? (125). It is so common today for black men to be fatherless, continuing another unhealthy cycle. A new dad may leave a family, because his father left him when he was young, and it sadly goes on and on. I was impressed that Singleton portrayed Tre with not just a man in the house, but an actual, good, stand-up father that provided true guidance and imparted wisdom. Many times, (but not all) in communities like this one, if there is a father in the picture, he is not the type of man that Furious is. That fact, again may be of no fault of his own. As Tre’s mom said in the movie, a mom can’t teach her son to be a man. When men grow up without fathers and are teaching themselves what it means to be a man, it is true that they may pass on misconstrued or incorrect messgaes to their own offspring, having never been taught correctly. The only Tre turned out to be anything was because of father, training him up in the way he should go. If not, he would have ended up just like the Doughboy and the others, doing nothing with his life.

As the Kitwana article talks about, “The Black middle class lives in close proximity to the poor, and hence, suffers similar perils…Tre is caught up in the same drama faced by his less fortunate peers? (124-125). Though he was higher class, he still experienced the same struggles and problems that they did. Because of his upbringing, he behaved and perceived things differently, he was somewhat of an outsider looking in, rather than a true part of what was going on. This is what propelld him into success, he knew how to survive IN the hood, without being OF the hood.

Boyz N' The Hood - Craig Smith

When Tre's friend, Ricky, is gunned down and killed in front of him, Tre is understandably teeming with rage against the people who killed him. Tre's initial reaction is to go home, get his father's revolver, and join Doughboy and the other guys in the hunt for Ricky's killers. Tre's father, Furious, does his best to talk Tre out of seeking revenge, but is eventually unable to. It is easy to sympathize with Tre. He saw his best friend shot and killed as he tried to run away from his killers. Tre's rage masks his father's teachings of nonviolence. Tre's rage at the end of the movie enables one to think back to the beginning of the movie when Furious' home is broken in to. Furious takes two shots at the intruder, but misses him, prompting Tre to express his wishes that his father had blown the guys head off. Furious responded by telling him that he can't think like that, and that if he killed the guy that it would only have been another brother dead.

Putting myself in a similar situation of seeing one of my best friends or family members murdered, I would have felt the same rage Tre did. I would be overcome with emotions of guilt (that it wasn't me), anger, sadness, revenge etc. It is hard to say that I would have joined a group of people to hunt the guilty party, but I probably would. Also, like Tre, I probably would have changed my mind after a while of driving around with the guys. My father's teachings would be heavily on my mind, and my conscience would have probably stopped me from killing someone. I did find myself with a feeling of relief, saying to myself "good" when Doughboy killed the guys who killed Ricky. The way that we are made to sympathize with Ricky's death and his friend's and family's grief and anger allows us to feel this way about the revenge. It would have made the audience feel differently had we seen the families of Ricky's killers after they had been shot and killed. I couldn't help but think about the way I feel when I watch a war movie on WWII or Vietnam. I obviously sympathize with the Americans in the movies, but I can't help but think that the soldiers the Americans are fighting and killing also have families and friends who will grieve over their deaths. It is definitely an interesting way to think about things, and definitely makes acts people killing other people seem very senseless and awful, no matter what the context.

Sydney Liles

Young, Don’t Give a Fuck, and Black deals with how things happen in the ghetto. These people are their own culture within each other and are a close family. Even when Tre is just moving in with his father, these two boys come over to be friends with him, and they begin this lifelong friendship. The first section of the film, I think there are four women shown: Tre’s mother, doughboys mother and the mom and daughter from across the street. In this film there is a giant lack of consideration for women and how they are portrayed in this film. Even in the beginning with the daughter across the street, two of the boys are bickering over whos girlfriend she is, one of them saying he “puts is dick in her every night.? Then there is Tres mother who sends him to live with his dad after an altercation at school. Later she attempts to get back in his life and neither Tre or Furious want this to happen. For them there is nothing that he can do for him and there is no use. He does not appear to have respect for his mom or want to spend excess time with her, he even blows off a weekend with her to stay with his “boyz?.
Also with the way that they speak to and about women, the word use is constantly bitch and ho. At the barbeque Ricky is the only one who seems to show respect to his wife and show admiration for her. Doughboy calls one of them a ho and when she says she is not, he then calls her a bitch. These women are called these names and do not have any retaliation, they seem to be portrayed as weak and like they do not care.
The older women in this film are shown as crack heads, abusive mothers, or abandoning, there is no sign of bonding like the men have or since of working together. These women are only shown as needing men and working through them. Brandi is the only women in this film that appears strong by saying no to Tre, but this changes later in the film when he comes over all vulnerable. Women do not have a voice in this film, but I think that this was not a concern. This film is about how the men interact and what they do, not about women and their reaction. To have added a women’s voice, it would of added another point of view and a main character. This film would have not had the same response if it had a strong female point of view. This would need to be in a different film that focuses on their life, or this film would need to be much longer.

By Jeff Tow Arnett

Boys ‘N The Hood, effectively portrays the difficult struggles of the African American community in the early 1990’s. Boys ‘N The Hood, takes place in Los Angeles during the early 1990’s where a significant number of African Americans lived in poverty. Los Angeles was a place where African Americans riots broke out during 1965 and again in 1991 because of police brutality towards African Americans. Although a majority of social movements were happening and African Americans were demanding equality and power, the youth of African Americans still faced the infinite challenges for the same rights their parent’s dreamed about. .
Boys ‘N The Hood effectively shows the hypocrisy and failure of equality and power from the United States Government. In our class discussion last Wednesday Anthony talked about the African American society during the 1990’s, especially in Los Angeles California. African Americans societies were at a disadvantage compared to white’s societies. They had a bar on every corner and various gun shops but there was no super market to be found, they were provided with inadequate education, insufficient health services, they weren’t provided with enough jobs and as a result of that many of them were poor, along with many other things.
Boys ‘N The Hood effectively shows “what it means to be young and Black in America at the dawn of the new millennium? (Bakari, 122). Boys ‘N The Hood shows the United States, which seems to have no idea that there are communities within the United States that really need some help. Boys ‘N The Hood ending of the movie really clinched it for me when Darin is talking to Tre about his brothers death. Darin said "I watched the news this morning. Either they don't know, don't show, or don't care about what's going on in the hood. They had all this foreign shit. They didn't have shit on my brother, man."

Boyz 'N The Hood - Amanda Palazzo

While some of the characters in “Boyz ‘N the Hood? fit the description of nihilists, the film itself does not. The film, while portraying characters caught up in the destructive cycle of violence, prison, and death, still functions as a morality play and is able to offer some hope. “Boyz ‘N the Hood? shows the result of choices made by the various characters, with Doughboy, avenging his brother’s death and paying for it with his life, and Tre, who despite often walking a thin line between life on the streets and one on the straight and narrow, is able to make it out of the ‘hood. However, proper conduct equating success does not always hold true, as is the case with Ricky, who was awarded the opportunity to attend college on a football scholarship, but was still gunned down in the street. The proverbial “moral of the story,? presumes that if one follows the “right? path and does the “right? thing, he has a chance at breaking free of his bleak situation and “making something of himself.?

But, obviously, things are not that simple – while often it is one’s choices that affect how their life turns out, the “if only? questions comes into play. If some of the nihilistic characters, like Doughboy, had guidance like that bestowed upon Tre or Ricky by their parents or the community, would they still be in the situation in which they find themselves? Regarding Doughboy’s futile viewpoint, Kitwana in “Young, Don’t Give a Fuck, and Black,? states, “…his options are limited and he can’t find a better way. He needs help navigating life. His family, community, and society have failed him.? Because he does not have the necessary parental support, he tries to find it on the streets, whereas Tre and Ricky are molded by their parents who prepare them for a productive future.

Towards the end of the film, as the crew cruises the street in search of the gang members who killed Ricky, Tre gets out of the car, deciding that he no longer wants to be part of the retaliative killings that they were about to embark upon. Tre, in leaving the others behind, showed that he had meaning in his life and did not want to wind up in prison or dead, as was inevitable. He had plans for college and wanted to start a business, dreams that would not be realized should he follow through with the killings. Juxtaposing this is Doughboy, who epitomizes the nihilistic attitude, tracking down his brother’s killers and blowing them away in the street. He had no prospects, no hope, claiming, “We gotta die sometime,? and his actions show a life without meaning.

Yu Katayama

I think Boyz N’ The Hood is one of the best movies we’ve seen in the class this semester. Although it was upsetting and sad to see racism occurring during this time, the movie showed how important it is for us to be equal with each other. Before I watched the movie, I didn’t really have this clear image of 1980s Los Angeles, but after watching it, I was really surprised because of the struggle that African Americans were going through. You can see this by looking at the difference between the white and the black culture in how they are provided with different amount of resources and opportunities for getting jobs. As a result, there were more poor people in black community than the white community. From one of the readings, Guerrero argues that “the black movie boom of the 1990s has materialized out of a climate of long-muted black frustration and anger over the worsening political and economic conditions that African Americans continue to endure in the nation’s decaying urban centers.? For a long period of time, African American culture was going through a tough time and they were forced to live with limited amount of resources, which I think made their thoughts and feelings towards “equality? a lot stronger. The film showed a clear message and it’s fortunate for us to see less racial activities in US today – the movie in the 80s and the 90s, I think, shaped the steady social and political environments that we have today.

Boyz 'N The Hood-Justin Kaplan

I think that their is a pretty big difference in this weeks movie of Boyz 'N the Hood and last weeks movie Talk to Me. The roll of the black character in society is portrayed in a pretty different light in each of them. In Talk to Me, the society comes together as a whole to try to overcome obstacles and segregation. They take on the characteristics of a normal civil rights activist in that they are passionate and non violent about the rights they are trying to earn. It is the exact opposite in Boyz 'N the Hood. This is not a hip-hop film, nor a detached and dehumanized story about "gang violence" (the great over-simplified scapegoat of the issues treated in this film), its a story about growing up fatherless or motherless in a war zone with a faceless enemy, where people do not value each other's lives at all and value their own lives only slightly more. Murder and substance abuse are an everyday problem and these are just a few things that are in the way of these children trying to grow up in a society where they are completely segregated already because of their skin color. I found it amazing that it took so long for the officers to show up to Furious's house after a robber had broke in and when they finally get there, the officer is black and he makes a comment to them saying, “too bad you didn’t get him; it’d be one less nigga out here in the streets.? Chan refers to this as the “internalization of racial hatred the black man sees in his blackness? (41). I believe that the officer is completely incoherent of his own skin color because of his power as an officer. He sees the civilians, especially those in "the hood", as lower or inferior to him and he feels like he has dominance over them. I think that the white community is to blame for this type of behavior because of their hatred and segregation that they have caused for the black community.

Boyz 'N the Hood-Nicole Carroll

As a more comedic and sappy drama film watcher I didn't think I would like this film, but it has become on of my top films ever to be watched. I enjoyed watching the power of each individual event occurring with in the film. I was rather skeptical at first when I heard we were going to watch it, but I felt that it was rather gratifying to be sucked into as a viewer. It's a great film to get a sense of community under, because this film not only idetifies a gang, but a community.

Today we look at our gangs and think they are all bad and cause ruckus throughout the cities. We seem to think that in the life of a gang it's all about drugs, violence and power. It's also seen a stereotype we have is that in a certain part of the city you can't wear a certain color because you may create a disagreement among the gang members. In Boyz N the Hood they show that the gang is much more than an average drug group, it gives certain folk a community feeling. As a gang member in this film they were grown up in a suppressive environment and not able to achieve a common good for themselves. Bakari Kitwana states "Blacks are born into a brave new 'hood, in which no one, neither society or even our own parents, are doing enough to bring about social change." This is part of the reason they join a gang is for the citizenship and loyalty to their other members. You can view that it's a sign of community when you see one looking out for another person's child in the street or watching one another's back in a street fight. They even have celebrations for an ex-con's return to home. It's a way of life with laws, practices and values to make sure it's kept a safe haven for other members of the gang. It's a community!!

Boyz in the Hood/Ashley Bergman

This is possibly the most intense movie we've watch so far this semester and possibly the most important given that stereotypes and misconceptions about what is going on in the ghettos still exists today. It's true that the violence is real, but most people don't understand or try to understand what causes it and choose to simplify it by saying it's because of the people. Doughboy says it best at the end when he says: "Either they don't know... ...don't show... ...or don't care about what's going on in the 'hood." Moreover, people overlook the good and focus on the negative.

In "Young, Don't Give a Fuck, and Black", Bakari Kitwana discusses how Boyz in the Hood shows the good things that go down in the ghetto. Specifically the unconditional, resilient love of a community-- one that watches out for a crackhead's babies in street, one that celebrates an ex-con's return home, one that takes in a baby momma, and the lack of peer pressure-- Tre, despite his middle class status and good grades, is accepted as one of the crew by the less fortunate. And even though they live a life of violence it's not because they choose to do so, it's because they don't know any other way to live. Doughboy is a good example: he doesn't go looking for violence, it finds him. And though he pursues and kills his brother's killers, he does so because it's the code of the street. He recognizes that it's not the best course of action as we see at the end when he confesses he doesn't know how to feel about what he did and when he dumps out the rest of his alcohol on the street as though to show he is considering turning a new leaf, but it's hard to escape the vicious cycle of the hood as he well knows because: "shit just goes on and on, you know. "

Female Identity in the "Hood" - Liz Vieira

I think Boyz n the Hood is an excellent film that captures the role of being a black urban male youth, but I definitely agree that it ignores the perspective of females. It is necessary to temper this criticism with the statement that I don't think a single work can or should be expected to address all intersections of race, gender and class, so I think that Boyz n the Hood does the best it can with the limited amount of time and limited narrative structure.
The use of degrading language toward women is crucial to the authenticity of the film, but isolates women from the tough street life enjoyed by the men in the film. Women are used almost as decoration in the film-- they are present in every major scene but rarely make a real impact on the outcome of the narrative arc. The fil was misogynistic at times, with respect to references that Tre needed to be "taught how to be a man" or how he felt less like a man because he wasn't having sexual relations with his girlfriend. Her struggle between wanting to wait until marriage and peer pressure seemed largely ignored because it was only addressed in one conversation, even though it is a major issue of conflict. In terms of pregnancy, we see pregnant women and occassionally see Ricky's girlfriend and child, but they are mostly in the background.
Because the women aren't specifically implicated in the violence, had the film been told from their perspective, we would have seen more of the daily struggles like trying to raise children as a single mother, paying for food and drug addictions, dealing with pressure to have sex and a more in-depth look at the consequences of gang violence and losing a male member of the family. The issues the film addressed were very important, but ultimately a gender-based intersectional analysis of the community is necessary for a holistic view of the trials and tribulations of growing up poor in the "hood".

Boyz N the Hood - Jon Marshalla

The policeman's hatred of the "hood" can be attributed to the negative way that the community affected his image to non-blacks. He hates the way that their actions reflect on their race as a whole, however, instead of taking a proactive approach, he ridicules and tears them down further, stating that he wished Furious had killed the robber because then there would be "one less nigger on the street." This at first appeared strange to me as one would think that a black policeman would stand up for his race and brutality against and among his race, but instead he contributes to it. In his article, Chan quotes Naddell who stated that "In acting violently toward another Black person, the individual may be aggressing against a hated aspect of self, Blackness." (41) I somewhat disagree with this. The black men didn't hate their blackness, they hated the aspects of their somewhat segregated black society. They weren't integrated into "white society" because of a vicious cycle that they were born into. No matter how hard they tried, as evidenced in Tre's character, they couldn't seem to break out of the hood. His mother managed to become successful in the business world, but in doing so, she was unable to raise her child in the way she wanted. Furious made his boy into a "man," but Tre was still exposed to all of the negative aspects of the environment he grew up in. He was also subject to the same stereotypes the other, less ambitious, members of his neighborhood were, like when the officer put the gun to his neck and intimidated him. He had done nothing wrong, but was automatically put into the same category as a "young nigger" who brought nothing but trouble on their society. The movie does not show the black man hating his blackness, but rather shows the black man hating the actions of other blacks which in turn brings racism and further discrimination upon the entire race.

Boyz 'N The Hood - Amanda Ruffalo

I don’t believe Singleton ignored the roles of women in this film at all, he could have shown their roles in the lives of their men more in depth, but I don't think he ignored them. Throughout the film, women are portrayed as the caretakers of the family. They are the ones that are shown supporting their children. Tre’s mother sends him to live with his father because she wanted to make money to eventually be able to support Tre. Doughboy and Ricky’s mother is supporting them along with Ricky’s girlfriend and child. She holds their family together by letting them live under her roof, letting them eat her food, and letting them hang out in her house. As mentioned in Kitwana’s article, “Parents may not be perfect and at times fit into neat stereotypes (such as welfare mothers), but they hold their families together as best they can? (125). By letting Ricky live under his mom’s roof, she lets him pursue his lifetime goal of becoming a football player. She takes care of his child while he tries to make his dream come true. And even Doughboy is important to her, though she doesn’t always show it. She lets him and his friends stay there and hang out at her house, even though she knows what they are into, she never kicks him out because she cares about him.
This film would be different if it was told from the viewpoint of women. It would have obviously shown more of the impact violence has on the home life and what life is like inside the home instead of on the streets. Women’s stories would have more of an emotional side because it is their husbands, brothers, and sons being shot and killed right in their own neighborhood and they can't do anything to stop it. It is the women who have to pick up the pieces of what is left and try to put it back together. They don’t have a choice as to what their boys do, they can only try and convince them to do otherwise.
Singleton didn’t ignore the women but simply showed the viewers the role they have in society at this time and in the lives of the young men involved in these violent acts.

Chris Dahmen's blog 12

The film Boyz-n-the Hood fits squarely within the post-hippy 1960's self hating white ideology that filmmakers and audiences in the 90's loved so much and still love today. I get the feeling that whites audiences really love to prostrate themselves to victims of any kind and always manage to find themselves as the group to blame. I enjoyed the part in the beginning which was actually just a fleeting moment but it said so much about American culture. The part I am thinking about was the scene with the white lady teacher who has a monotone voice that makes her sound like she is evil or a part of the "system" and must be resisted no matter what. This has particular effect when she talks to Tre's mother on the phone. The situation is set up as she can be disposed by Tres mother a black woman any way she wants to because she is white and an intellectual. But maybe more because she is not even pictured, we just hear her voice on the phone. It is easy to not take intellectuals or white people seriously if you don't even have to see them. The anti-intellectualism that Americans are so famous for is examplified nicely in this scene. Clearly it is not just a racial phenomenon. Also, the fact that the mother si getting a Master's degree and the girlfriend of Tre is also studying is an accurate construction of females being more educated than males. That is also not a racial phenomenon but includes women across the racial spectrum here. The other family characteristic that I liked was the contrast between the family with boys who had a father and the one across the street who didn't and how that effected the way the boys developed and who they became. One could also argue that that is also not limited to race. Single mothers raising sons is an extremely common phenomenon now. In the required reading Chan mentions a major obstacle for black especially men in progressing into a more successful condition. "A deep-seated distrust in the political and social bureaucracy is a natural extension
of the frustration that African Americans feel, particularly in light of capitalism's
complicitous links to the narcotics network and of the oppositional potentialities of
racially inspired conspiracy theories. This distrust is intensified by an insidious and
often subtle racism that permeates the system and that hinders many frorn rising
beyond the economic state they are born into." It is really easy to blame whites for the status quo but sensible blacks like Bill Cosby know everything can't be blamed on white people which is so fashionable to do because it is so easy and requires no restraint, critical thinking, and instantly absolves one from any accountability. This is another claim that Chan makes in his article. The idea of autodestruction of blacks from self-hatred and angst from lack of prospects. This is almost like a self destructive behavior from a lack of self esteem. Nothing exemplifies this better than the use of the "N" word so much and a lack of respect for each other. It is worth mentioning also the mother of doughboy doesn't seem to show as much respect for doughboy as for his brother. Undoubtedly it is because she percieves that he has options for a better future and doughboy doesn't. Or at least he doesn't show any interest in creating opportunities for himself. But again, without a father it is hard to teach oneself how to become a man.

Boys 'N the Hood, Jordan Swan

The decision of Tre’s mother to leave Tre with his father is one that I believe is a product of social rituals that prevail over society. This ritual says that a boy can not become a man without a strong male influence. This standard was made clear by Tre’s father when he explains it to his son and outlines the importance of a stern hand by a man to his son. By making the decision to send her son to live with his father she is choosing to adhere to this standard. Her decision was justified in her mind because she believed the she was doing the best for herself in enabling her to finish her schooling to better Tre’s life by giving him the chance to learn the importance of manhood from his father. In her mind she was not abandoning him; she was allowing him as well as herself to grow and potentially better themselves. I believe that this message is extremely central to the film. The characters who grew up with out a father figure, like Doughboy and Ricky have negative outcomes while Tre lives and eventually goes on to find love and a future. This decision is presented in the film as a wise one but in the real world may be seen as an unwise decision on Reva’s because it diminishes a woman’s role in the development of young men.

No Nihilism in Boyz N' The Hood - Andrew Probelski

To start off, the score for Singleton's Boyz 'N The Hood was sweet. That theme that would play when something terrible was about to happen reminded me of the Cure and had no place in the movie, but was very pleasing nontheless. Sorry for that little blurb but does anyone agree with me? ANYWAY, Boyz N' The Hood painted a pretty clear picture for me of what LA life must have been like for blacks during the late 80s-early 90s; a time of riots and uprisings not much different than those that occurred during the 1960s. This saddens me deeply. The fact that little had changed over the years for the black community in Los Angeles and the fact that nobody seemed to give a damn upsets me and reinforces the fact that racism is still a major problem in the United States, even though we hear little about the problems that I know are still occurring. That being said, this film did not reflect a sense of nihilism at all to me, for being nihilistic requires choosing to believe in nothing at all. The underprivileged black youths in Boyz N' The Hood really didn't seem to know that there in fact WAS a different way to live. They were raised with no opportunities because of suppression and isolation not of their own faults, and that mindset obviously followed them throughout their often short lives. Each character in the film could've been something wonderful if only given the opportunity to shine. These unfortunate kids are products of their environments and for the most part, strive for nothing because nothing is all that they know. They are not nihilists! They are simply and tragically unfortunate. Break the cycle and watch them flourish.

Boyz ‘N The Hood reaction - Anthony Zerka

As we witness Ricky being killed by fellow rivals, like Tre, we experience the wrath of revenge. Our emotions and feelings of this act of hate will lead to more hate as the cycle of violence continues. If I had to experience my best friend's death in front of my eyes, several questions would arise. What did he do to cause this act of hate? Was this the best way to resolve a dispute? Walking in the house with Ricky's dead body would only lead to anger in my eyes as revenge would be the only answer. The endless talks with Furious would not matter as I would risk my life to get revenge. This is exactly how Tre was feeling. The only thing that would stop me is seeing Furious's look of disappointment. Everything that I stood for would be meaningless if I would have helped commit murder in act of revenge and the cycle of violence would complete another revolution. Boyz ‘N The Hood portrays the lives of many that live in places, such as Los Angeles, where lives seem meaningless. Bakari Kitwana states "Blacks are born into a brave new 'hood, in which no one, neither society or even our own parents, are doing enough to bring about social change." Police are shown watching the neighborhood in the film like it is a prison, having helicopter view the ground as the police drive in the streets. Boyz ‘N The Hood help show the audience the average day in what a man, particularly a black man, has to go through in order to stay alive. Going to school is very uncommon, teenage pregnancy, and death is part of the package of living in this kind of neighborhood. There are not a lot of fathers, such as Furious in the lives of young black males. Single mothers are being forced to raise their own kids without the help of a father. The life these young adults live everyday is like a third war country that isexperiencing a civil war it seems.

Reaction to Boyz 'N the Hood - Alec Charais

Boyz ‘N the Hood was one of the most thought-provoking films we have watched this semester as it addresses a number of social and economic disparities that are still a factor today. I cannot imagine the stress and hopelessness young black men and women growing up in the ghetto face, and this film represents much of what is wrong with American society, blacks and whites included. Imagine living your life in such constant fear and oppression, with little hope of escape. This film makes me appreciate how fortunate I am to be able to go to school, have a good job, be married, and ultimately have so many options afforded to me. It also makes me wonder why life has to be so cruel and unfair to so many.

When Tre jumps in the car with Doughboy and the others to avenge Ricky’s death a number of ideas jumped to mind. Why would Tre take this action? Throughout the film we see him make wise decisions and make attempts to better his situation. Instead, in a moment of rage, he goes against his father’s wishes to risk his own life. By getting in the car, Tre faced the retaliatory danger that killed Ricky, and eventually Doughboy. Nadell writes about this aggression amongst black youth in the ghetto when he writes “In acting violently toward another Black person, the individual may be aggressing against a hated aspect of self? (460).

While this statement might apply to Doughboy, I don’t think it holds true for Tre. Doughboy was caught in the vicious cycle of hopelessness that most disadvantaged blacks faced-little education, social and economic oppression, and constant trouble with the law. Doughboy lived by the code of the streets, even if it meant his ultimate demise. Tre, on the other hand, was merely reacting to the rage of losing his best friend. Fortunately he was able to come to his senses and get out of the car before he ended up in a situation that would endanger his life and everything he had worked so hard for.

I would like to think that I could be as brave as Doughboy and as smart as Tre in this situation, but in reality I don’t think I would have jumped in the car. Maybe that makes me scared, I don’t know, but at least like Tre I would still be alive.

Jackie Robak

If this movie was shown by the views of women it would have been a complete 180. The first thing I noticed was that there were more women going onto college then their were men. Even in the first scene it shows that the mother is highly educated and is clearly “above? the actions that are taking place around her. The violence would not have been so predominate if women perspective had been told. I also think that the emotional perspective would have been shown more. If it upset the men like it did, then I’m sure the women struggled a lot more. And they weren’t just sitting there and taking the vulgar comments coming from the men that are supposed to be their friends. Instead they often questioned why they call them bitches, and usually a hit on the shoulder would follow. The biggest problem they would face is that they are the ones that are loosing their sons, fathers, and husbands.
Ricky’s killing wasn’t meaningless. He had a son that needed to be shown how to be a man. He had a football career ahead of him; his way to get out of all the violence. And even though Doughboy wasn’t respected or acknowledged by his mom. He had spent most of his adolescence behind bars, but I still don’t think his death was meaningless. He was the ring leader; even in jail he ran the show. Every person has a role, whether it's to be better and get out, or stay back and take care of your boys. But how can a corrupt city come to harmony; when all of the good people are leaving?

Race in Film and Society

Between this weeks movie Boyz ‘N the Hood and last weeks film Talk to Me there is a vast difference in the roll of the black character in society. In Talk to Me the black character embodies the average civil rights activist who is passionate and nonviolent about the rights they are trying to gain. We see this power arise out of a coming together as a community and society to overcome obstacles. But in the film Boyz ‘N the Hood it’s almost the exact opposite of what we would see portrayed in the 1960’s film category.

Instead of banning together as a black community, in this film it seems that the African American population is more segregated that ever, and takes a step backwards in what was historically the goal of being integrated and equal within society. What’s also shown is a lack of zest for life; many of the characters, especially when faced with animosity, give the idea that it’s just easier to throw it all away than to fight to make things better. They have that sense of unending hopelessness, as if it were their unchangeable fate to live like this. Kitwana portrays this idea when he says, “there is a prevailing sense among black youth that our parents, like American society, have failed us.? With this sense of failure, comes a hopeless view of the world that black youth cannot seem to overcome.

Allison Veire

Reflections on Boyz 'N The Hood

The black police officer really stood out to me throughout the film. He seemed to have a great deal of internalized anger toward the black youths in the film. Our first encounter with him was after Tre’s mother had taken him to live with his father. There is a robber that breaks into Furious’s house one night and when he calls for the police, not only does it take them an hour to get there, but this black police officer was also one of the dispatched men. When he gets there, he automatically exhibits an angry power trip over Furious. Furious is upset that his son has been waiting outside in the cold for an hour and the officer just snaps at him for questioning his authority. The officer then proceeds to ask Furious if he shot the intruder. Furious says that he shot at him, but missed as he got away. The black officer then says, “too bad you didn’t get him; it’d be one less nigga out here in the streets.? I believe that part of this officer’s attitude has to do with his ego of being an officer of the law. He is black, but he still has authority over civilians, especially over the black civilians in “the hood?. Chan refers to this as the “internalization of racial hatred the black man sees in his blackness? (41). This is the other part of this officer’s attitude toward blacks, particularly toward the black youth of “the hood?. The officer sees these “ghetto hoodlums? as perpetuating racism toward blacks. In other words, it is these black youths that give reputable black civilians, such as himself, a bad reputation. I also think that his actions might be due to an aggression that he cannot take out on the actual cause of his anger. It seems that he has so much internalized hatred for the black youth, however, I think it is truly his anger against the white institution that is the reason racism exists. As a black man, he cannot take his anger out on whites, but he has no problem taking all this built-up aggression out on the black youths of “the hood?.

-Hasti Fashandi

Derek Peltier Boyz n the Hood

The film, Boyz 'N The Hood, bring new realities of the poor inner city and how the community in that city is dealing with it. However, the film shows little about the women in that community and how they are affected by it. I think that the women's perspective is ignored throughout the film. The only taste we get about how women deal with what is occuring is Tre's mother. We just briefly see that she has a job, however being educated is looked down upon for women. We get a sense that women have no power or say over anything in the community.

Women are often referred to as "bitch" and "whore" by the main characters in this film. I personally do not appreciate when men refer to women in that way but I think in this case it is done to protray power. The women would often ask why when they were called those names but never got a straight answer. They do not like being called those names but do not stand up for themselves.

I think the film would have been very different if told from the women's point of views. I think it would be interesting to see how the women are coping with what is going on and how they feel about it. I think the film would have a slightly different tone and the viewer would get a better grasp on how the women are mistreated.

Katherine Rivard

Boyz N The Hood captures viewers by surfacing the socioeconomic hardships African Americans face in “the hood.? While several aspects of the film were shocking and dispiriting to know people actually struggle with these tribulations in everyday life, it is disheartening to actually see the police’s reactions and responses to the people who live there. The black police officer seems to be more aggressive towards the youth than the white officer; Chan suggests that one explanation for “internalizing racist stereotypes? may be due to, “the racial hatred the black man sees directed at his blackness and the rechanneling of that hatred toward members of his own race? (41). What Chan is trying to convey is that this internalized racial aggression may be a product of self-loathing brought on by white, middle-class oppression.

Boyz 'N The Hood (Jeff Batts)

The film Boyz 'N The Hood follows Tre through a great challenge/rite of passage in his life. Having trouble in school and getting into fights, Tre's mom decided he needs more of a father figure in his life and leaves him with his father for a few years to mature. There, Tre learns what it's like to be a real man and not fall into the traditional pattern of urban living that has taken hold of his friends. Because of this, we see many different types of personalities in the African-American characters. Some, such as Furious and Tre, see the futility of gang life. Others, such as Doughboy, feel that the gang life is all they have. They were born in the hood, and they'll never get out of it, so the best way to deal with that is to be an icon within the hood. Because of this, I can understand why some would argue that the movie demonstrates the sense of nihilism in black culture. many characters are just out for a quick fix, and don't care who they have to step on or over to get it. There are very few times in the movie where Doughboy is not seen with a beer, and never can a girl walk by without getting stared at. Guns are shown as symbols of masculinity.
Ironically, Furious is the most level-headed character in the film. He guides Tre the best he can away from the thug life. Furious may not be able to get out of the hood, but he feels a sense of responsibility to get his son out of there. This personality is a stark contrast from those of Doughboy and his posse. The movie is not critical of all urban blacks, but it definitely shows disdain for the thug life. None of the gang members have a 'good' outcome in the movie. The characters that stay away, such as Furious, Brandi, and Tre, all end up with favorable endings. So, while the movie itself does not cast a good light on urban life, it holds a clear message for how to break free of the life that has taken hold of so many urban blacks.


Jeff Batts

April 12, 2008

Nihilistic or Optimistic Approach to Boyz-n-hood_ Chris Remy

The “nihilism of Black youth culture in the form of wanton, blood thirsty, and buck wiling for violence sake, substituted whole sale for the new black youth culture itself (Kitwana 127).? Whether it was a movie set in Compton or just in another city, black people were being portrayed in many different ways amongst the world. An act of nihilism can be related to life without meaning, purpose, truth or value but that is not really what I saw in this film. This film is a perfect example of optimism. These characters are given options to go as far somewhere ever they decide to take routes with high traffic. In other words, history almost repeats itself, with guns and puns for bad words and violence. Even though one of the main characters eventually goes to college, his friend is killed. This movie entering the 90’s at a time where “Blackness was a commodity? made its stratum as the number five film of the year (Kitwana 125). The movie clearly had direction and was made to be something that would have precedent on the rest of the 90’s. They would portray an area known as the hood or something that “is beyond any salvation efforts of reform (Chan 45). This movie more or less shows that with the killing of nearly 12 people and people that would even be so desperate for blow that she would be willing to perform sexual encounters on someone. This is most definitely not a way of salvation but can be at the very least reformed. Without a conscious effort to try there will be only one place to go, this is not the hood but more or less the burial grounds.

Boyz 'N The Hood - Colleen May

Boyz ‘N The Hood (1991), like other “hood films? of the 1990s, “attempted to entertain while defining an emerging lifestyle (Kitwana, 2002).? The commercial appeal of violence, drugs, and sex were the principal driving forces behind most of these films. In addition to the films main purpose (to make a profit), Boyz ‘N The Hood attempted to uncover society’s ignorance of social forces that were perpetuating the problems of black youth.

Discussions of race were “locked in a 1960’s-style civil rights time warp (Kitwana, 2002).? It was the 1990s; a generation had fought for equality through the civil rights movement, and they had triumphed, so what was the problem? Society somehow failed to consider and plan for the effects of generations of deep-seated racism. As Kitwana states, “for most of our lives, we’ve been hit over the head with the civil rights gains as the monumental achievement of our parents’ generation, but it is evident to us that those gains haven’t secured out inalienable rights (Kitwana, 2002).?

Boyz ‘N The Hood, being driven primarily commercially driven, “falls short of delving into the reasons for unemployment, inadequate education, and urban economic neglect (Kitwana, 2002).? Rather, the film has a conspiracy theory undertone as expressed primarily through the Furious Styles character; “They want us to kill ourselves with booze, drugs, and guns.?

It seems likely that apathy, rather than conspiracy, was what allowed for the downward spiral of drugs and violence in African American youths. But regardless of the truth of the conspiracy theories, as DeParle (1991) notes, the very existence of such theories functions “as a thermometer of the racial antagonism, offering a disheartening reading of racial distrust.? The racial antagonism had to be palpable if, as Chan reports, “In 1990, 60 percent of blacks in New York believe or at least admit the possibility that the easy accessibility of drugs in poor black communities is part of a government conspiracy (Chan, 1998).?

Doughboy seems to have a more accurate assessment of the society’s attitude toward African American youth; “either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.?

Boys 'N The Hood- Jackie Claypool

This week in class we watched the film Boys ‘N The Hood, which displays the harsh struggles of a community of African Americans. This film takes place in Los Angeles, which was a place where poverty consisted of 45-56% of the population. Los Angeles was also a place where two significant black riots broke out during 1965 and again in 1991, as a result of police brutality towards a black community. Boys ‘N The Hood is one of many “hood? films that have come out to try to show people “what it means to be young and Black in America at the dawn of the new millennium? (Bakari, 122).
Like we talked about in class, the black community during the 1990’s (especially in LA) wasn’t provided with half has much as the white community. They had a bar on every corner and various gun shops but there was no super market to be found, they were provided with inadequate education, insufficient health services, they weren’t provided with enough jobs and as a result of that many of them were poor, along with many other things.
Boys ‘N The Hood serves the purpose to show the outside community, which seems to have no clue, that there are communities within the US that really need some help. My favorite line in the movie is when Darin talks about this issue, after his brother was just killed, when he says, "I watched the news this morning. Either they don't know, don't show, or don't care about what's going on in the hood. They had all this foreign shit. They didn't have shit on my brother, man."

April 11, 2008

Boyz in the Hood - Thomas Kuppe

This was a great movie, and for me a walk down memory lane since everyone back in grade school talked like the people in the movie. The people in the movie are split between two kinds of people, people who want to get out of the hood, and the people who don't like it there but have just grudgingly accepted living there. This point is illustrated by Tre and Doughboy respectively. They both share a great deal of frustration towards living there but only Tre manages to escape near the end when he jumps out of the car on the way to get revenge. He realized that the cycle of revenge was never ending and was the trap that kept people in the hood. Doughboy seemed to have realized it, but he thought that it was his brother who was supposed to find a way out and that he was nothing more than a screw up, a view given to him by his mom. Had I been in the same situation I'm not sure what I would have done. Sure I would have been angry. As a middle class spoiled suburban white kid I probably wouldn't have gone through with killing out of revenge, but if I had spent my life thinking I was trapped in a bad situation with little or no possibility of getting out I probably would kill out of sheer apathy towards continuing my life. The people in the movie must have thought the same way, or maybe they came to the conclusion to kill a different way, point is when you have nothing to lose you are more likely to take risks. But as soon as you fight back someone else will come for you, and Doughboy and his crew new this. At the end he laments that someone will probably come and kill him too now that he has killed, and he was right. How can one get out of the cycle of violence? Tre's answer was probably the best, but just walking away. If you feel you are doomed to be stuck in a bad lot in life, however, this answer doesn't have much appeal since its allowing you to be further disrespected and dis empowered.

Melissa Green's "Boyz n the Hood" Reflections

In response to the criticism that women's issues are ignored in the film, I would first like to point out that the name of the movie is, after all "Boyz n the Hood." I believe that John Singleton's goal was to reach out to young African-American men to help them realize the pointless suffering that results from gang violence, drug abuse and poor education. The film starts with a startling statistic: "‘One out of every 21 Black American males will be murdered in their lifetime’ ‘Most will die at the hands of another Black male’. Singleton focused his attention on the fact that most violent crime is committed by males. By reaching out to black males in particular with an emphasis on the need for achievement and responsibility, he was hoping to end the self-destruction of his community. The film cannot be all things to all people, and I believe Singleton made a conscious choice to focus on the male-perpetuated gang violence. This is not to say that women's issues are ignored. We do see how the violence affects women as well. Mothers and wives all too often had to mourn their loved ones. The drug-using mother who neglected her children represented the non-violent crime that women are more likely to commit. Although the characters frequently referred to the women as bitches and ho's, Singleton does point out the immorality of this through one of his female characters who questioned the usage of these misogynistic terms. I believe Singleton did not completely ignore women, but perhaps did not feel comfortable as a man addressing women's issues. In any case, there is only so much ground one movie can cover, and I feel that "Boyz n the Hood" did an excellent job of addressing the racial tensions that still exist in this country.

Boyz 'N the Hood: Race and Culture - David Belair

I've seen Boys 'N the Hood before and everytime Ricky gets shot it gets to me, and then his mom looks at his SATs and he had passed and would have received his scholarship and maybe gotten out of there. Its a pretty upsetting movie to watch. I don't know how realistic the movie is, it seems fairly realistic, but the constant struggles these folks have is crazy. The constant fear of being shot, the drug use with the baby walking in the street and the mom having no clue, the corrupt policeman, the seeming attitude of despair where they characters just look like they have no hope to escape their situation. The movie really brings the struggles of urban America to light.

As noted in the assignment, there are criticizms of the director for ignoring how women are affected by the fractured families, drugs, and gun violence in urban America. I don't know that this is a fair criticizm. In a two hour movie there is only so much ground to cover, and all topics can not be given their due justice. Singleton chose to focus his attention on the lives of Tre, Ricky and Doughboy. He still showed some of the struggles these women face with how Tre's mom is earning her college degree to get out, how Ricky and Doughboy's mom struggles with being a single parent, how the crackhead mom isn't able to care for her own child do to her addiction. The struggles of women in urban America wasn't the focus of the film, but it was evident, and I don't think Singleton should have to appologize for the nature of the film.

Along these same lines, I think he was trying to show how a strong father figure can be a significant factor in the lives of urban youth. The fractured families in these areas are prevalent, and often their isn't a male role model for the boys in these areas to look up to and learn from. Singleton shows how a strong father figure like Furious Styles can shape the lives of the boys in these areas. He seems to be trying to tell the black community to take responsibility for their actions. If a black man has a child, be there to help raise them, be a role model, grow up. Does Furiou Styles have his problems? Yes, but he shows Tre right from wrong and teaches him how to be a responsible person. Tre still screws up from time to time, but because of the strong male role model in his life, he makes better decisions than his friends do. Furious isn't the typical father figure you see on TV and in movies, but he is one of the strongest role models I have seen.

April 10, 2008

Boyz N' The Hood- Liz Eisler

Bakari Kitwana, who reviewed the film Boyz N’ The Hood, declares that, "Despite his middle class status, Tre is caught up in the same drama faced by his less fortunate peers" (125). Although a majortity of social movements were occurring, and African Americans were beginning to demand equality and power, the youth of society still faced the infinite challenge of fighting for the same rights their parent’s sought after. Although young blacks were not fighting for their civil rights, which Kitwana suggests, but instead, they were fighting for their right to apply those rights to their every day life.

During this time black women not only faced the challenge of fighting for their rights to exercise the same liberties black men endured, but they basically had to advocate for themselves as women; fighting for respect. Throughout the film, women seemed to represent nothing more than sex objects and ultimate screw-ups (such as showing the mistake Ricky’s girlfriend made when becoming pregnant and the consequences to follow). There were hardly any instances within the film when the audience was able to receive a perspective from a women’s point of view, entailing the hardships they endured and the effects that the derogatory language used to describe them had upon them.

Although the film may seem to appear one-sided only detailing perspectives from the black male population, Boyz N’ The Hood was able to demonstrate the continuation of racism and discrimination within the United States. Through illustrations of oppression, the film was able to break down the colorblind barrier and ultimately erasing the notion that racism and discrimination within the world no longer exists.

Christina Johnston- the Hood

Boyz n the Hood exposed the dynamic of the new, young, black culture in a way that showed the inevitable hopelessness that happens in a system which has failed African American youth. In our readings for this week, “Young, Don’t Give a Fuck, and Black? talks about the nihilism associated with the black youth culture, and relates it to the failure of the new generation’s parents. I would say that this argument holds true today. Despite supposed equal rights and opportunity, African Americans continue to experience racial profiling and prejudice. Boyz n the Hood demonstrates the hypocrisy and failure of “the equal capitalistic system? as if follows along the plotline of Tre, Doughboy, and Ricky struggling to survive in “the hood,? characterized by corruption, drugs, guns, and a kill or be killed mentality. This inability of the ghetto culture to escape the hood despite their good intention (i.e.: college bound, pro athlete etc) is present throughout the film, as they are surrounded by drugs, violence and gang warfare. At the same time, Furius’ career and the interaction between the “Hood? (ghetto) and middle class African American society was shown to delineate between the youth, who are products, and victims of the corruption of the streets (literally sucked-in by the hood), with the more successful middle class who watches their children face violence and drug culture as they kill each other. The Capitalism in Hollywood that Kenneth Chan talks about appears in this aspect as well. Movies had to be made to appeal to the black and white culture because profit and money makes the world spin, even when making controversial movies. We see Tre being sent away to live with a more conservative, strict Furius to escape the troubles he was facing in the hood as a shift towards white conservatism and suburban appeal. Movie makers such as Singleton face the problem of making a profit and a statement at the same time, and while making a statement is meaningful, movies are still being made based on their expected success at the box office.
Boyz n the Hood used violence, drugs, corruption, and the hopelessness of the hood thru the lens of the new , black, gangster culture growing up in a neighborhood that would ultimately lead them to kill or be killed. It’s interesting how rappers and many stars who originally came from “the hood? live in enormous mansions with eight cars and a yacht in the back, while still saying that they’re representing their hood. Many are using their money to make positive changes in poor neighborhoods (Michael Jordan, Ludacris, etc) however, the fact that as soon as they got rich, they got out reinforces the message that Boyz N the Hood is portraying of nihilism, and utterly succumbing to a failed society structure of violence and drugs unless you physically remove yourself from the toxic ghetto environment.

Amanda Kennedy- "Boyz 'N the Hood" Review

In looking at how women are treated in the movie “Boyz N the Hood? it’s clear that their story is largely neglected, though it seems appropriate from the title of the movie; it’s not called “Girlz N the hood.?

Most of the time in the film women are called “bitches? and “whores? by the main characters in the film, mostly by “doughboy.? When he calls one girl a whore she gets defensive and ask why he calls her that and says that she is not a whore. He comes back with “fine. Bitch,? and then his mother hit him. When Doughboy later calls that same girl a bitch she asks him again why he does that, and he can’t really explain himself. Though right after they are discussing God and the girl says that God could be a girl, and he says that God couldn’t be a girl because then war and other tragedies wouldn’t happen because it’s not in their nature, so he really gives an off hand compliment to women. The only person who doesn’t use that language is Trey, though he does show apprehension in “crying in front of a female.?

This film would have been very different if told from the perspective of women. It would have been a completely different movie, but it would be worth seeing for that different perspective. It would have been really interesting knowing the viewpoint of doughboy and Ricky’s mother and how she came to be so biased between her sons. Perhaps doughboys father was abuse or something like that and she resents the son for it, or perhaps it is just doughboy’s lifestyle that she finds to unappealing.

It also would have been interesting how women in general were coping since, besides Trey’s mother, no other women appear to have jobs and are raising children on their own. Things seem particularly hard for women because even when they have a job, such as Trey’s mother, they are looked down on and questioned about having a job and being educated. Common stereotypes are pulling all women down. The stress of the situation makes it appear that they turn to drugs for an escape from it all.

Boyz 'N The Hood & Rechanneling Anger - Sarah Osborne

John Singleton was nominated and won many awards for Boyz ‘N the Hood, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s not that it was full of awesome special effects or had the best \ music, this movie was real. I’m starting to see a theme throughout what we’ve learned in this course that the movies/music/people that are the real, raw truth are the ones that make the most impact.

One of the first scenes in the movie struck me right away. After the burglar tried to break in to Furious’ house, the police show up. First, I was surprised to see a black cop since it was brought up in lecture that there were very few black officers on the LAPD. Then he simply replies that Furious should’ve shot the burglar so there would be “one less n***** out on the street.? I couldn’t believe that he doesn’t say one less burglar/person on the street, but one less n***** on the street. I don’t know if it’s the same cop that pulls Tre over later in the movie, but that scene made me so sick. I didn’t understand exactly what was going on here, mostly because I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve felt oppressed or like a racial minority. Reading Chan’s article made everything a lot clearer for me as he discussed the way that black people would rechannel their oppression and the hatred they feel from others (mostly whites) on other blacks. I can understand how a black cop, who is doing well for himself with a stable job and authority, would get really sick of watching black kids shoot each other on the streets. This makes them look bad and, although it shouldn’t be, is a reflection on the black cop himself. I have so much admiration for Furious, who didn’t let anger overcome him, but instead used his frustrations to do something positive. He worked hard to make Tre a good person, and also to help the black community by helping them fund their houses. It’s too bad that others, such as the black cop, couldn’t rechannel their angers/frustrations towards doing something to help the situation instead of contributing to it.

Nihilism in Thug Films by Katie Kunik

As far as black thug movies go Boyz N the Hood is not as nihilistic as others. Being the first real black youth culture movie to hit the big screen, the sense of immorality is less prominent than others such as Menace II Society. Kitwana describes that since Boyz N the Hood was the first landmark film in this genre, the others may have misinterpreted its meaning of nihilism while trying to out do it (127). It is easy to see the “human? sides of some of the characters such as Tre, Ricky, and Furious. Furious is a well respected business man who cares very much for his son not unlike Ricky. Here it is obvious to the viewer that both of these characters have a sense of morality because of how they show that they care for their families. Tre shows the audience that he is not nihilistic when he chooses not to go along with Doughboy and the others to get revenge for Ricky’s death. For characters like Doughboy it is difficult to see that he exists more than to just be a thug. Early in the movie he is arrested for stealing, and when he returns he seems unchanged from the seven years spent in prison. Then once the viewer is left thinking that Doughboy is just a heartless thug, in the end of the movie Doughboy surprises the audience by telling Tre that he is not satisfied with how he avenged his brother’s death showing that the movie is really not as nihilistic as the reviewers credit it as.

The underlying feelings of the characters are not so explicit, and could be interpreted as nihilism. An example is when Doughboy and Ricky make fun of Tre for being smart, when they really admire and respect his intelligence. This may be hard, however for the audience to interpret. I think examples like this may have contributed to the negative attitude placed on hip-hop culture by society today. By misinterpreting thug films, such as Boyz N the Hood, young black Americans start following the idea of the thug genre of "young, black, and don't give a fuck" (Kitwana, 130). In turn, then society sees how prominent the young black culture in America is becoming, and tags it with a negative connotation because of all the violence and immorality that comes along with it, which is almost the opposite of the point Singleton is trying to get across with Boyz N the Hood.

April 9, 2008

Jess Doll - "Boyz 'N The Hood"

As evident in the Rodney King beating that occurred in 1991 in Los Angeles, racism is still alive in today's society. The brutalities of at least four Los Angeles police officers lead to massive street riots, which resulted in 54 deaths, 2,383 injuries, and devastation to about 3,100 businesses.

As a result, many, especially in the inner city, resent the L.A.P.D, who represents authority. If the police in the film "Boyz 'N The Hood" signify the demeanor of any current Los Angeles police officer, it is not a surprise that police officers are hated in the inner city.

However, the city of Los Angeles has more problems to deal with, aside from the poor relationship the police officers have with LA residents. These issues range from poor transit systems and poor education, to lack of jobs, housing, and food for those especially residing in inner city LA. The effects of these poor living conditions can be observed in the film "Boyz 'N The Hood," which tells the story of an African American boy who grows up in inner city Los Angeles. The film does a great job depicting the hardships of inner city life and how hard it is for an individual to make something of himself in such ruthless surroundings.

For example, author of "Young, Don't Give a Fuck, and Black" Bakari Kitwana (who reviews the film "Boyz N The Hood" in his article) states, " Despite his middle class status, Tre is caught up in the same drama faced by his less fortunate peers" (125). Again showing how hard it is to not be sucked in by the violent patterns of inner city living. As doughboy said at the end of the film, "This shit just goes on and on" referring to the cycle of killing that will not decrease until mass improvements in LA take place.

Boyz n the Hood - Eric Nelson

What Kitwana means by, “a 1960’s-style civil rights time warp,? is that young blacks are still fighting for their rights just as their parents did before them. However, the fights they are fighting for are different from their parents. They are not fighting for their civil rights, but rather their right to exercise these rights and come up in the world. This is especially apparent in Boyz 'N the Hood through the characters of Tre, Ricky, and Doughboy. Tre is fighting for his rights because although he is from the hood, he is still intelligent and success bound, while Ricky is college bound despite his teenage father status. Doughboy is the most interesting solider in the film because he fights to stay alive and live his life.

I agree that the role of women was largely ignored, but traces of it still existed in Tre’s girlfriend, Ricky’s baby’s mother, and Ricky’s mother. We briefly view the difficulty of being a single mother and the decisions teenage girls must make. The constant verbal degradation of women is exactly that degradation, but it does help the movie stay true to life because, sadly, those words are commonly used to describe women.

Boyz in the Hood is the exact opposite of a nihilistic film because of the struggles and hardships overcome by Tre. It is not about the boyz existence being meaningless, but rather to show how it is wasted. They could accomplish greatness if they were allowed the chance to live, but most of them end up dying.

In Tre’s position, I would have done the opposite of what he did because I don’t think that lowlife thugs should get away with murdering a decent young man who was my friend. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t go because he disrespected his homie by letting those guys get away with murder. I can easily understand the cycle of violence because bloodshed will always lead to more bloodshed, and if one person won’t do it, then another will, because the need for revenge and love for your family and friends are both strong feeling that cannot be disregarded.

Boyz 'N The Hood

By: Elizabeth Bassett

Throughout the movie Boyz ‘N The Hood, the majority Black male opinion is clearly exemplified. With this strong emphasis on the male population, however, this movie has been accused of disregarding the black female voice of the time period as they were affected by the fractured families, drugs, and gun violence that were a stark reality within their culture.
During the course of the movie, I felt that the women’s perspective was largely ignored as women were portrayed through the eyes of the male opinion. The overall sense I received was that of women focusing on physical beauty. As long as a girl was cute and attractive, she could get a man and everything would be fine. School for females was very rarely mentioned and no scenes of girls studying together were portrayed in the movie. Only one mentioned the goal of higher education as most seemed to accept the reality that they would stay home and have babies for the rest of their lives. Men constantly talked about the “fine-looking? females that were around and seemed to view them as sex objects as the persistent chatter about “getting it on? could be heard within numerous male front porch discussion groups.
Tre often appears as the exception to this in the movie as he treats women around him differently than his male cohorts. One of the best examples of this takes place at the barbeque to celebrate Doughboy’s homecoming. As all of the guys rush to grab plates, Tre suggests that they act as gentlemen and allow the women to go through the line first. At times in the movie, however, Tre breaks the mold of letting women have a voice. This is visible as Brandy states that she wants to be a virgin when until she is married. To this, Tre still attempts to pressure her into having sex with him. This diminishes his credibility as, although he may not pressure as far as his friends, he fails to understand and respect her opinion as a female.
Name calling is another area in which the movie ignores the opinion of women. Throughout the movie, many of the males use “bitch? or “ho? when speaking to or with the ladies and “mother-fucker? when talking to their fellow brothers. Although this does not bother the men and is widely accepted as names for each other, the women do not seem to appreciate their slang names to the same extent. One example of the ignorance of the movie in portraying the women’s opinion is at the barbecue when one of the men calls a girl a “bitch.? Her reply is “I am not a bitch? to which Doughboy responds by calling her a “ho.? She continued to be displeased with both names, but Doughboy simply brushes aside her frustration and carries on with the party.
Overall, I believe the movie would have been very different had it been written with a stronger female influence. One of the main themes of the movie is the trial of the men at that time in relation to violence, school, and supporting a family. However, the female’s trials are unspoken and unresolved in the movie as they slip into the shadows of their male counterparts. Anti-violence may also have been a more common theme as the women appeared disgusted with the violence as evidenced by a girl stating “can’t we have one night without you boys getting in to a fight.?

April 4, 2008

Talk to Me Entry - Jon Marshalla

I think Dewey admires the fact that Petey makes no attempt to hide who he truly is. He is willing to say whatever is on his mind and what he believes to be true regardless of who it offends or upsets. Even though he has his flaws, people, especially the black community, trust him and oftentimes agree with what he has to say. In his article Civil Rights, White Resistance, and Black Nationalism, Gerstle states that "Black Power was a political ideology calling on African Americans to free their communities and consciousness from white control." (Gerstle, 295) Petey exemplifies this without question, and although politically incorrect at the time, was willing to speak it publicly. This trait, as irritating as it is to some, is actually very desired by many others. A "no bones about it" approach to addressing issues facing America and blacks head on. I do not believe that Petey is portrayed as a racist against whites. This is evident when he saves the white store owner from the black mob about to beat him to death. Some may say he was racist because of what he said on the Tonight Show, however, this was more of a drunken tirade than his true intentions. The alcohol negatively affected him, and caused him to lash out at a group of white people who were, in his mind, symbolic of the very people who were, in fact, causing trouble for blacks.