It is 1991. You got a poppin' job at the Fox Hills Mall, you dress well, and you have a girlfriend who is just as beautiful as she is smart. Your best friend is on his way to ball out at USC, and you are making big plans for for your next step in life. The scenarios of these characters was created by then 22 year-old, John Singleton.
If you are not sure what I am referring to, you do not know the hit 1991 classic, Boyz N The Hood. There is no denying that the fact that Boyz N The Hood started the entire hood movie wave, but it is also one of the first films to feature the lives of Black teenagers in a true and raw form. Often times due to the violence of the film, the essence of it being a coming-of-age story is often lost.
We were able to see Tre and Brandi form a loving relationship, and eventually lose their virginity to each other. Tre, on the outside, really wanted to take that next step with Brandi, even though deep down inside, he was nervous and scared about the fact that he could potentially become a father. These feelings aren't usually perpetuated through Black male characters, especially when they are 17 and 18 years old.
Police brutality is an unfortunate reality that Black people have to deal with. Now a days, it starts with the news coverage that we see on television and social media, and if we happen to be real unlikely individuals, there might come a day where we have an unfortunate interaction with law enforcement. Between the cops not taking Tre and Furious' 911 phone call in the beginning of the flick seriously, to Tre and Ricky getting pulled over and harassed by cops, none of his early law enforcement experiences have been pleasant, which, without a doubt, will leave him with a disdain toward them as he grows older.
The friendship between is Tre and Ricky goes so far beyond a couple of good laughs and car-pooling to school. Those two, are brothers. They confine in each other, clown each other, and they have each other's back. Other teenage themes include taking the SATs, kicking it with your friends, and running from trouble. Another unfortunate theme includes the pain behind losing someone so close to you, especially at such a young age.
While telling a story that has many universal aspects, Boyz N The Hood is a quintessential Black film that has very culturally specific nuisances. From the fashion, to how the characters great each other, Boyz N The Hood was able to to stay in touch with the community in which the story derived from. Throughout the losses, the loves, and the triumphs of this film, Boyz N The Hood is a true testament to how and why we need the voices of young people, and why it is the great teen movie of all time.