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.