Highly regarded African-American filmmaker John Singleton has died at the age of 51 following a stint in intensive care after a stroke.
The pioneering director is best known for his 1991 movie Boyz N The Hood, a picture which earned the then 23-year-old a pair of Oscar nominations, with the film garnering nods for both director and best screenplay.
Singleton became the first African-American – and the youngest director full stop – to be put up for the first award, eventually losing out to Jonathan Demme, who picked up the gong for his work on Silence of the Lambs.
LA-born Singleton would go on to direct the Shaft remake, coming of age hit Baby Boy, and the 2003 rubber-burning romp 2 Fast 2 Furious.
Singleton was an outspoken critic of Hollywood’s approach to black cinema. Talking to students at Loyola Marymount University, Singleton described major studios as “refusing to let African-Americans direct black-themed films,” going on to note that, “They want black people [to be] what they want them to be. And nobody is man enough to go and say that. They want black people to be who they want them to be, as opposed to what they are. The black films now – so-called black films now – they’re great. They’re great films. But they’re just product. They’re not moving the bar forward creatively.”
The director suffered a stroke earlier this month. His family made the decision to take the 51-year-old off life support yesterday, 29 April 2019.
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