Film / TV

we will never forget john singleton or his choices

April 30, 2019
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Directors make choices.

Well then damn, I need to channel my inner director. All year my friends and I have discussed starting a film club dedicated to the abundance of exceptional Black filmmakers and their stories. The desire to begin this group came from nostalgia for the films we missed by being too young, a desire to know our history, and a whopping heap of embarrassment for not having the answers when an elder asks a trivia question. 

Fortunately, and annoyingly, the amount of choices in film are to blame with our delay in beginning the club. We’ve gone in circles trying to decide where to start but in what I would like to call a parting gift to the young filmmakers of today – the news of John Singleton’s passing has given us the direction we were searching for. 

The loss of John Singleton has emphasized his immense contribution to the society. Mr. Singleton was a Black filmmaker with a vision for his people. He was the type of person to give advice and make the distinction to say “I hope Black filmmakers and other people…” not to exclude but to include everyone while making it clear he is a champion for his people. Though success was grand and constant for him, he never lost sight of his purpose. A tough feat, he managed to keep Black people centered and uplifted in his work while growing and being appreciated by all communities.

At 23 years old Singleton wrote and directed Boyz ’N The Hood. At 24, he became the first Black person and the youngest person ever to be nominated for best director at the Oscars. He opened doors for young Black filmmakers like me and my friends who get the honor of binging his work for the rest of time. I’ve chosen to honor Singleton’s life the only way I see fit for filmmakers – by sharing his heart in his own words – through his films.

Journey with me through John Singleton’s illustrious contribution to our world. Gone too soon, but forever with us, thank you Mr. Singleton. We miss you already and love you deeply.