Boyz and the Hood is a film portraying a powerful drama that reveals the aspects of growing up in the black neighborhoods of the American urban areas.
Hood has been used as a short form of neighborhood. The film was written and directed by John Singleton, who grew up in the hood of South Central Los Angeles just like the characters of the movie. This film tells the story of three friends, namely Tre, Doughboy and Ricky. The film opens up with the scene where Tre is shown living with his mother. Tre is ten years old than and while at school, he gets involved in the classroom conflicts with other pupils.
This contravenes an agreement that he had made earlier on with his mother that he will never fight while at school. This prompts his mother to consider letting Tre’s father to take the responsibility of taking care of boy. The director of this film is of the view that only a father to a child can teach him values and good morals. On the other hand, Tre’s two friends from the same neighborhood, Doughboy and Ricky, also live with their single mothers.
Their fathers’ absence from the scene is given a lot of attention in the film. The movie portrays Doughboy going off the rails in a very tender age. At the age of seventeen, he has already had brushed shoulders with the law enforcement agencies given that he was claimed to have served a jail sentence by this age. Worse still, he seems to be headed toward a lifestyle of gang violence and selling drugs. On his part, Ricky becomes a father while still at school and also seems to desert his fatherly responsibilities and as a result; he contributes to the economically and psychologically disenfranchised cycle of children.
He looks forward to acquiring a football scholarship that will eventually offer him a place in a college as this is his only hope out of the poverty and violence that characterizes their neighborhood. On boy’s arrival at his father’s place to stay with him, a burglar breaks into their home. Furious Styles, as his father was called shoots at the thief but misses him and as a result, he escapes. When the police arrive at the scene after an hour, they show much laxity in investigating the attempted crime because it only involves ‘niggas’.
They instead utter some derogatory words to Tre’s dad before leaving swiftly. It is after this incident that Tre finds himself in the company of the neighborhood friends named the baker boys’ group that comprises of Ricky and Doughboy. A Furious Styles constantly advices his son on sex telling the boy should wait until he is ready to take the responsibilities of a father. He also informs him that he can do something important in his life. In addition, he promises to love him and demonstrates this by taking him out for some joy activities, like fishing. Better still, he acts as a good role model to his son by teaching him business. After seven years, the movie shows that the three are still in Los Angeles on the Crenshaw Street.
Tre and Ricky are set to take on the college S.A.T tests as a requirement to get admission into the higher learning institution.
Although Ricky stands a higher chance of getting the admission due to his football prowess, he has to look after his wife and the baby. This tentatively implies that college life will be very challenging. His other friend, Doughboy, spends most of his time seated with his buddies in the front porch. He occasionally gets involved in frequent fights and other actions in the street in addition to being drunk most of the time. Ricky gets gunned down by other blacks in a car ambush one day when walking with Tre on their way to the groceries. This incident heartbreaks Tre, who with the help of Doughboy carries Ricky’s body back to their house. Doughboy vows to avenge the murder of Ricky. He successfully finds the murderers and kills them, but things get nastier a fortnight later, Doughboy is murdered.
This film portrays the exact nature of the manner in which the black youths grow up within the inner city. Of the three friends, it is only Tre who survives or rather lives to maturity. The producer’s intention was to emphasize the role of a father in the upbringing of a son. In this connection, Tre has been portrayed as very fortunate to have a father who constantly offered him guidance besides being a positive role model to a boy. As opposed to this, Ricky and Doughboy lacked a positive male influence on them and that hugely explains the reasons why they strayed a lot during their youths and their subsequent deaths. According to John Singleton, they lacked a male guardian to influence them, and therefore, they got motivated to seek peer groups as a replacement. This has the danger of getting the boys into trouble both, with the law and society.
It is widely known that hanging out with bad company has the implication of corrupting one’s good habits. The producer is very keen to portray Tre as the beneficiary of a fatherly influence on his life. This enables him to escape the crime and other delinquencies such as violence and gang involvement that characterize the neighborhood he lived in. During the burglary incident at Furious Styles’ home, Tre tells his father that he ought to have blown off the robber’s head when he missed the shots. However, father explains him that such an action could have amounted to killing of another brother.
On the contrary, he was only acting on self defense; through this, Styles wanted his son to appreciate and understand the fact that violence is not the solution. The result of this is that Tre avoids all the violence instances in the neighborhood his entire life. He neither carries weapons nor associates himself with a bad company. Tre’s neighbors who did not have the privilege of having a father fail to escape the influence that motivates them to commit the delinquencies and crimes present in their neighborhood.
Doughboy is worse-off because, in addition to lacking a father, he is subjected to the frequent verbal abuse from his mother, who seems to favor his brother. Although he does not show any signs of concerns as a result of this bias, his inner self esteem is hugely severed. The lack of a father or an influential mother causes him to engage in crime and drug dealing for which he is served a jail term. His lack of knowledge on morality, responsibility and dedication in life is hugely attributed to the absence of an influential male figure in his life. The result of this inadequacy is him succumbing to the societal ills of the neighborhood.
The film also shows the instances of success that were portrayed by Tre in avoiding drugs and alcohol due to the positive role his father played in his life. Apparently, Styles had warned his son against the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Tre manifests the success of this by turning down an offer to be bought alcohol from a peer.
On the other hand, Doughboy, who lacks a father, engages in drug dealing and abuse and frequently drinks with friends either while walking in the streets or while sitting at the porch. Boys who have fathers develop a different attitude to women, as well as sexual relationships. Boys without good fatherly influence are likely to disrespect women and abuse sex regularly.
They also face increased chances of procreating other children and abandoning them with their mothers just as was done to them. In the Boyz N the Hood, Styles teaches his son to respect sexual relationships and women. He even reminds him that it is possible for any fool to make a baby but it will only require a real man to raise such an infant. Additionally, Tre is taught on how to practice safe sex. When his friends confront him to reveal whether he had had sex with his girlfriend, he becomes hesitant to do so and tells them to mind their own business. This demonstrates that he had learnt from his father the virtues of treating sexual relationships respectfully.
Although Singleton does not offer any solution to the lack of fatherly advice in the development of a boy, he throws up a challenge to the fathers and the would-be fathers who have neglected the responsibilities of taking care of their children. He also rings a warning bell to mothers who prefer isolating children from their fathers that the dangers resulting from such actions are real.