The first African American to be nominated for an Oscar, John Singleton, has died. He led a resurgence in mainstream black film-making in the 1990s with Boyz n the Hood.
Singleton, who became both the first African American and the youngest-ever film-maker to be nominated for the best director Oscar, died at the age of 51 after having been hospitalised following a stroke on 17 April.
Earlier on Monday, Singleton’s family announced that he would be taken off life support. “It is with heavy hearts we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton will be taken off of life support today,” a spokesperson for the family said in a statement. “This was an agonising decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.”
Born in Los Angeles in 1968, Singleton released the incendiary Boyz n the Hood in 1991 and its portrayal of gang violence and the drug epidemic made an immediate impact. It was a commercial success, made stars out of lead actors Cuba Gooding Jr and Ice Cube (who was already well-known for being a member of hip-hop group NWA), and installed Singleton as the leader of a new generation of African American film-makers aiming for mainstream influence.
RIP John Singleton.