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The Film “Boyz N the Hood” Analysis Essay

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Updated: Aug 26th, 2020


The American society has been associated with various incidences of the civil war as the minority ethnic groups, particularly the Blacks, embarked on a course to liberate themselves from discrimination and segregation from their White counterparts. The issue of race and inequality has been resonating with the development of this society for a long time, and it is apparent that there have been adverse effects.

For instance, equality in the access to education, health care services, good housing, and other basic requirements has been compromised among the minority racial groups because of segregation on the basis of socio-economic classes. It is apparent that the recurrent inequality in access to opportunities has rendered it extremely difficult for the Blacks and other minority racial groups to achieve economic liberation, and this has enabled the Whites to eliminate the presence of the minority groups in their neighbourhoods and other social institutions.

The film Boyz N the Hood depicts the violence associated with the African American neighbourhoods as a result of the development of this communities with idle youths, and the struggles that young boys looking to achieve a brighter future face in the neighbourhoods. The film is a clear depiction of a life in the hood and the plight of young boys with a dream to attain liberation from the curse of poverty that is cast by racism.

Racism and Self-hatred

One of the psychological impacts of long-term exposure to racism is the development of self-loathing on the part of the victims. Self-hatred is characterised by blaming oneself for the challenges that are associated with racism. Individuals that experience self-loathing as a function of the exposure to racism are likely to believe that it is their fault that they are not accepted in the society.

This may result in the desire to change their skin or ethnicity, which is characterised by a high level of anger toward everyone else in the group of victims. This is clearly highlighted in the film through the characters of the Black policemen, who are even more hostile toward the Blacks than the White policemen. For instance, in the scene where the policemen arrive at Furious Styles’ house to investigate the killing of a burglar, the White policeman is polite, whereas the Black policeman harasses Styles and portrays a demeanour that highlights his hatred for his fellow Black men.

Inequality and Crime

There is a ripple effect associated with the development of a society that has a high coefficient of inequality. First, the economic outcomes of the affected members diminish, and they end up in the lower economic bracket of the society, which is associated with a low viability of the individuals in the employment market. This results in a high unemployment rate among the affected groups. Secondly, the high unemployment status leads to the development of crime as individuals look for alternative ways to earn a living. Thirdly, the individual criminals start developing groups that turn out to be gangs that instigate crime in their neighbourhoods.

The development of several gangs in the same region results in the rivalry between the respective gangs, and they start luring more youth into their circles to strengthen their gangs. This leads to the development of a social environment where the boys and young men are compelled to either join a gang or live with the fear of being victims of violent robbery from the gang members. This makes it extremely difficult for the young boys to focus on education and self-liberation from poverty and crime.

The film Boyz N the Hood highlights the plight of a young boy whose future is threatened by being sucked into the vacuum of crime and violence. On one hand, Tre is a bright student with potential of achieving a high level of education, but on the other hand, he lives in a neighbourhood that is associated with the presence of gangs that lure young boys into engaging in delinquent activities such as drinking alcohol and using drugs, as well as violent crimes.

Black parents have a difficult time trying to nurture their male children into becoming responsible adults because of the negative peer pressure emanating from the delinquents in the neighbourhoods. While the parents can apply strict rules to guide their children as Styles did, they rarely have the power to always be there to protect their children from their peers with crooked behaviours. Racism and discrimination are the root of this issue, and as highlighted in the film, most of the young boys have no option but to join the gangs to be at peace.

Race and Subordination

One of the characteristics of the minority racial groups is their subordination, which is characterised by high unemployment rates, low income, extreme poverty, and the lack of responsiveness from the authorities on their needs. For instance, the film Boyz N the Hood clearly reveals that the police in the Black neighbourhoods are not concerned about the safety of the people.

When Styles kills a burglar, the police take hours to arrive at the scene. Young men in this neighbourhood are killed on a daily basis, and the police are aware of the culprits responsible for these crimes, but nothing is done toward enhancing the safety of the youth in this community. The streets are flooded with policemen looking to harass the youth, especially the Black policemen, but they are not efficient in dealing with the underlying issues. One gets the impression that the authorities do not value the people in these neighbourhoods because they are subordinated in the society; hence, the low level of responsiveness to their needs.

Racial Prejudice

Racial prejudice is a widespread issue among the minority groups. For instance, the police are likely to harass a Black suspect more than they would a White suspect. In the film Boyz N the Hood, this is clearly revealed by the fact that the police officers are even harsh towards the victims of a crime. They treat all the Black men as suspects, and harassing innocent young men is the order of the day. This results in the development of suspicion between the law enforcers and the members of the Black community.

Most of the Black youth end up in a jail because of the prejudicial exaggeration of their misdemeanour by the police officers. This implies that Black youth are likely to be sent to jail for the crimes that their White counterparts are likely to go scot-free if they are arrested by the same police officers. While the film Boyz N the Hood is dated several decades ago, it is apparent that the sociological issues highlighted in it are still relevant in the contemporary American society.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Film "Boyz N the Hood" Analysis." August 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-film-boyz-n-the-hood-analysis/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Film "Boyz N the Hood" Analysis'. 26 August.

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