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.