With the Academy failing to nominate a single non-white actor in any acting category for the second year in a row, Nate and Ryan watch John Singleton’s breakout 1991 film Boyz N the Hood. The film earned the first-time writer/director nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, making him not only the youngest person nominated for the award (24 years old), but also the first black person to receive the best directing nomination. It would be 19 years before another black person was nominated for Best Director, when Lee Daniels was nominated for Precious. This second straight year without a non-white acting nominee has prompted many to take a serious look at what is really happening in Hollywood.
Additionally, high-profile and controversial performances by Beyonce at the Super Bowl and Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys are causing (at best) conversation about the realities of systemic racism and life as an African American and (at worst) fear-filled reactions to the idea that these thoughts and feelings are finally being expressed on the world’s biggest stages.
Boyz N the Hood is a unique and personal story from a way of life that was, and is, severely misunderstood by most people in America. Released just one year prior to the Rodney King beating and the riots that followed the acquittal of the police officers responsible, Boyz N the Hood is not only considered a landmark film from a dynamic first-time director, but has proven to be an important primary historical source, telling the story of life in south central Los Angeles as it was happening.