Discussing possible posts with my friend, I told him that I wanted to write about the top five movies that I have yet to see. I mentioned Sound of Music, and he uninterestingly shrugged. I mentioned Godfather, he shrugged again, a bit more responsive. I mentioned Scarface, and he looked at me with a quizzical expression, a mixture between shock, shame, and ‘are-you-serious?’. I hung my head, and muttered, “I know as a rap fan, I should have seen it a thousand times since there are so many references to it.”
We continued to walk, and I confessed that I never seen “those hood black movies from the 90s…like Boyz N the Hood.” He paused for a quick second, falling one step behind me. I turned to face him. I have gotten this response before so my explanation was ready. My mother did not allow me to watch certain films as a child (I would have been eight years old when the movie was first released). She always said that she did not want me to “grow up too fast” and I thank her for that. I can still see her hand covering my eyes during certain parts of movies, mostly during kissing scenes.
“My father,” he quickly responded, “made me watch it. Like, look at this movie right now.” I mistakenly forgot to ask him how old he was when he first saw the film. He went on to explain that his father wanted him to know the struggles that were out there for young black males in America and thought the movie served that purpose, but only when properly discussed with an adult. His explanation made sense as did my mother’s reasoning. Here were two different gendered parenting styles concerning one movie, both valid.
I then went on to explain that I have seen pieces of the film, in an attempt to save my black card.
Editor’s note: I will devote a post to this idea of a black card. Cliff’s Notes explanation: it is a mythical card that certifies one’s membership to the black race. Jokingly or unjokingly, one’s black card could be revoked for doing things deemed un-black.
I have seen the famous Ricky scene and a couple other scenes, but never the movie in its entirety.
Not sure why I woke up, after my normal three hour rest, with this movie on my heart, considering that conversation happened over two weeks ago. In typical nerd fashion, I wiki’ed the film.
-written and directed by John Singleton, who became the youngest person (24) ever nominated for Best Director and the first African–American to be nominated for the award
-nominated for both Best Director and Original Screenplay during the 1991 Academy Awards
-script centered around the coming of age story of three childhood friends, all three on seemingly different, yet intersecting paths.
-starred Nia Long, Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, and Cuba Gooding Jr., amongst other now famous black actors.
I have never seen Boyz N the Hood. Nope. Not once.
But that fact will soon change.