Cover Story | Apologies for the delay. The Zumble crew shot a short film this weekend and time got away from me. This was my first time working on one of the productions and it made me appreciate all that goes into putting out a finished product even more. While watching our favorite films, part of the magic is not knowing what it took to create the stories that we love and appreciate. John Singleton is one of those people that could bring a story to life. Beginning with Boyz n the Hood in 1991, he remained relevant in the film industry over several decades. Writing, directing and producing movies and television along the way, he is one of the icons in Black film.
Boyz n the Hood (1991)
His first major film, Boyz n the Hood is still held in high regard today. Trey’s (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) story was similar in many ways to Singleton’s own. Raised in a single parent home in South Central Los Angeles, Singleton’s parents helped to keep him off the streets. He also attended a film writing program at USC (the same school recruiting Ricky in the film). Not only did Singleton write the script, it was later purchased by Columbia Pictures and given a multimillion-dollar budget.
Baby Boy (2001)
Singleton has several classics in his catalogue. Baby Boy is one of those movies that I didn’t consider a “classic” at first watch, but almost 20 years after its initial release and it’s up there for me. Singleton had a way of writing and filming that brought realism to the stories being portrayed on the screen. Jody (Tyrese Gibson) may not have been the most admirable character, but I could still see parts of myself in him. The story of a young Black person trying to figure out their path in life resonated with me in my teens and again in my twenties.
Snowfall (2017- present)
While we may love him for bringing us the classics in the 90’s, Singleton was still putting out quality content much more recently. My cousin told me about Snowfall right before the third season began. I watched a couple episodes and was hooked. I went back and watched from the beginning. Seeing Franklin Saint’s (Damson Idris) rise to becoming the boss of a criminal enterprise was interesting. I had no idea that John Singleton was a writer/producer/director for the show, but it made sense. Franklin’s story isn’t the traditional story of someone growing up hustling. He was a scholar, but the pressures of dealing with the racism outside of his community proved too much and pushed him into a new role.
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