John Singleton, the acclaimed director of hits like Boyz in the Hood, Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious and Four Brothers died today at the age of 51.
His family took him off life support following a stroke he suffered on April 17.
The stroke occurred after a trip to Costa Rica. Singleton checked himself in at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles prior to suffering a major stroke. He ended up slipping into a coma on April 25 and remained there until his family chose to take him off life support and end his suffering.
John Singleton was the first African-American director to receive an Oscar nomination, and it was for his first movie (Boyz in the Hood). He most recently created the FX series Snowfall, which was renewed for a third season by the network.
Singleton was also outspoken for inclusivity in Hollywood. In 2014, THR reported that Singleton was speaking out about Hollywood not letting African-Americans direct black-themed films.
“They want black people to be who they want them to be, as opposed to what they are,” Singleton said at the time. “The black films now—so-called black films now—they’re great. They’re great films. But they’re just product. They’re not moving the bar forward creatively.”
Thanks to John Singleton and others like him, things in Hollywood began to change.
Movies like Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time proved that African-Americans had a voice to tell their stories and enjoy huge success.
Over his career, John Singleton directed nine movies, although his last one came in 2011 with Abduction. Since then, he has worked on TV, both as a director (Empire, American Crime Story) and as a creator (Snowfall).
John Singleton leaves behind five children, his oldest a daughter who is 27 and his youngest a daughter who will turn nine years old this year.
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