John Singleton, the filmmaker behind Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice, and Higher Learning, as well as films like 2 Fast 2 Furious and a handful of TV episodes, has passed away at the age of 51. The director was taken off life support after he suffered a stroke earlier this month.
Singleton was just fresh out of USC Cinematic Arts when he directed Boyz n the Hood. The film would eventually earn him an Oscar nomination for Best Director, which made him the first black person to be nominated for directing.
The trailblazing artist would help pave the way for future black directors like Jordan Peele. Here’s what the Get Out and Us director had to say about his passing:
And here’s what Selma director Ava DuVernay had to say about Singleton’s passing:
Samuel L. Jackson, who appeared in Singleton’s adaptation of Shaft, said this:
And Ice Cube, who was the lead in Boyz n the Hood, said:
Singleton’s family released this statement (via Deadline):
“In his private life, John was a loving and supporting father, son, brother, and friend who believed in higher education, black culture, old school music and the power of film.”
Singleton’s films often tackled racial inequality and racial injustice, which was seen in Boyz n the Hood and Higher Learning. But he did not limit himself to just films, as he was credited for directing episodes for shows like Billions, Empire, and American Crime Story, and co-created the FX drug drama Snowfall. He was also a champion of the black community and encouraged other major studios to help get them behind the camera.
It cannot be overstated that Singleton helped pave the way for actors, directors, and producers to have their stories be told.