Research one topic of Black Representations in Hollywood.

"Ain't nothing good in the hood
I'd run away from this b**** and never come back if I could"

- 50 Cent

The term 'Hood' can have many different meanings depending on what you believe and your viewpoint. Here are some different definitions I came across when conducting my research.

1. essentialy the slang, abbreviated word for neighbourhood.

2. to be hood, to be tough (representing their area), street wise.

3. also known as the ghetto, a specific area where people sharing a similar ethnic or racial background live.

4. an underclass neighbourhood, with high crime rates, low-income housing and a general mentality of despair and hopelessness.

A place where some African American people ususally claim they are from and/or still live in. They usually aspire to fantacies of escaping from "the hood" but most fail. However some actually do manage to escape from this by using their talents usually music, in the Rap and hip-hop industry. The hood is also an area of heavy crime, and corrupt police force. Hoods are usually owned by organized crime organizations known as Street gangs. Which deal in the drug trade, prostitution, and theft.

Recently, hoods are becoming not only something of the African American race, but something of all races and cultures including hispanics, whites, etc. This hood-mentality has been spread through the increasing popularity of Rap and Hip-hop music, "gangster culture", and the underfunding of the police force allowed by the government.

Rappers who do become successful often use the word 'hood as a way of bringing back memories of a difficult past that has long been overcome. 'Boyz n the Hood' film is often cited as an example of "culturally significant" art. The film explores the lives of several young men living in South Central Los Angeles, an area well-known for its high crime level. Some other places that are commonly referred to as "the 'hood" are Brooklyn and South Bronx, parts of Houston, and Philadelphia (Philly).

Boyz n the Hood, 1991
"Either they don't know, don't show, or don't care about what's going on in the hood. They had all this foreign shit. They didn't have shit on my brother, man."
- Doughboy (complaining about TV news coverage)

Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 'hood' film which was written and directed by John Singleton, a middle class African American born into a wealthy family. The films main stars included Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube and Regina King. The film depicts life in a poor area of South Los Angeles, California and offers an insight on racial inequality, drugs, sex and gang violence especially for those who have not witnessed any of this personally.  

The film was nominated for Best Director and Original Screenplay at the 1991 Academy Awards and John Singleton became the youngest ever person and the first African-American to be nominated for the award. The film was also screened in the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. In 2002, the United States Libary of Congress deemed the film 'culturally significant' and selected it to be preserved in the National Film Registry.

The film was based in 1984 and focused on three young black men, Tre, Doughboy and Ricky, as they grow up in Los Angeles. Tre is an intelligent young student but has behaviour problems from a young age which results in his mother deciding it would be best he lived with his father, as his parents are separated. His father teaches how to be a man and Tre trys to begin a new life back in the hood after being reunited with his old friends, two of whom, Doughboy and Chris, are then arrested for shoplifting from a local convenience store. 

Seven years later, it turns out all three boys turned out to lead very different lives despite having the same chances in life, also showing you can make your own choices. Tre is a high school senior aspiring to go to college, Ricky is an All-American football player (typical stereotype) and Doughboy becomes a crack dealing gangster who has just been released from prision. Doughboy spends most of this time hanging out with his friends, Chris (who is now in a wheelchair after being shot), Monster and Dookie. Ricky as a son with his girlfriend (teenage preganacy & non-marital relationships is also stereotypical) and is studying hard to recieve an athletic scholarship. Tre also has a girlfriend but tensions rise between them because he wants to have a sexual relationship with her who refuses because of her Catholic faith. Tre is torn by his desire to be a success and live up to his father's expectation and the resist peer pressure to be more involved in the local gang culture of Doughboy and his crew. The climax of the film depicts Ricky's murder by members of the local Bloods with whose leader he had a minor conflict, shortly before the audience learns that he had successfully recieved a scholarship. Since the police don't offer hope in South Central Doughboy, Monster, and Dookie intend to avenge Ricky's death. Tre, who is Ricky’s best friend, takes Furious' gun, but is stopped by him before leaving the house. Furious convinces Tre not to take the gun and seek revenge and Tre seems to relent, but he soon joins Doughboy and his friends on a revenge mission. Half way through the trip, Tre realizes his father was correct, asks Doughboy to pull the car over, and returns home. Doughboy and his two friends proceed and avenge Ricky's murder, gunning down his killers in cold blood.

Since it was released in 1991, the film has recieved overwhelmigly positive reviews and won six awards. Based on 45 reviews by Rotten Tomatoes, Boyz n the Hood has an overall rating of 98% with a weighted average score of 8.4/10.