A review of “Boyz n the Hood”, John Singleton’s 1991 film debut about a boy who goes to live with his father in South Central Los Angeles. The story follows Tre and his friends as they grow up in a rough inner-city neighborhood that is plagued by violence. With the guidance and discipline instilled by his no-nonsense dad, Tre avoids many of the pitfalls that seem destined to trap his friends. The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director Academy Awards launching Singleton’s career by making him the youngest person ever and the first Black person to be nominated for Best Director.
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“My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire is an autobiography by Maurice White written in collaboration with Herb Powell. The book tells the story of White’s early life growing up in Memphis and his eventual move to Chicago where he decided to pursue music as a career. Fans of Earth Wind & Fire might particularly enjoy learning about the vision that went into forming the group, the making of various songs, and how it was all translated for live stage shows. The book would also be a great pick for people who are interested in music history and/or the music industry though they might not necessarily be fans of the band.
A review of “Baby Boy”, a 2001 John Singleton film about a trifling young man named Jody (Tyrese Gibson). He lives at home with his mom, doesn’t have stable employment, is the father of two out-of-wedlock children, and despite his life being in disarray still finds time to juggle multiple women. (It’s not depicted in the movie but he sounds like the petty type to write his name on the orange juice.) Lacking direction, Jody finds himself being pushed to grow up when a new man enters his mother’s life
All in all, “Love & Basketball” isn’t a bad movie but its problematic love story is trash. And I think it gets a pass with most people because the basketball story is decent and the lead characters don’t fit the stereotype of being poor and down on their luck.
“The Vanishing Half” is a novel by Brit Bennett about twin sisters who leave their small all-Black Louisiana town in search of new lives. Events occur which separate the sisters and lead them on individual journeys. One sister eventually returns home seeking safety from the danger she has found in the world. The other remains lost to the town as she seeks refuge from traumatizing events from her childhood which motivates her to pass as a White woman and obtain the safety of upper-class society.