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A Visit With 23-Year-Old John Singleton As He Was Finishing 'Boyz N The Hood'

Filmmaker John Singleton, who made the movie "Boyz n the Hood," in Los Angeles in 1991. Singleton died Monday after suffering a stroke almost two weeks ago. He was 51. (Bob Galbraith/AP)
Filmmaker John Singleton, who made the movie "Boyz n the Hood," in Los Angeles in 1991. Singleton died Monday after suffering a stroke almost two weeks ago. He was 51. (Bob Galbraith/AP)

John Singleton, the writer-director behind the films “Poetic Justice” and “Higher Learning,” was just 23 years old when he electrified the country with his debut film: the spine-tingling and terrifying “Boyz n the Hood.” At 24, he became the youngest person and the first African American to be nominated for the Academy Award for best director.

Singleton died Monday after a stroke. He was 51.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young met Singleton in 1990, when he was fresh out of film school at the University of Southern California and still finishing “Boyz n the Hood.” They spent hours walking the Bottoms neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles where he grew up. His dream was to tell the story of those who lived there.

That dream would take Singleton from South Central to the south of France and the Cannes Film Festival.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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