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#A Celebration Will Be a Year-Long Tribute Presented by USC

“A Celebration Will Be a Year-Long Tribute Presented by USC”

Arguably, John Singleton is deservedly cited as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. His impact is easily demonstrated in the way today’s directors like Jordan Peele, Ryan Coogler, Nia DaCosta, and Barry Jenkins use unexpected genres and stories to talk about race. And even with that lineup of talent, Singleton’s shocking death in 2019 left a gapping hole in Black culture, particularly in the world of film. As a means to preserve his legacy, USC School of Cinematic Arts, USC African American Cinema Society and USC Visions & Voices are announcing the year-long tribute, John Singleton: A Celebration.

The special screenings begin Friday, September 9, 2022, with the Oscar-nominated classic Boyz n the Hood, which is followed by a discussion moderated by legendary writer/director Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle). Singleton was a University of Southern California (USC) alum and a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

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Singleton’s directing skills highlighted how socially conscious and how much of a forward thinker the Los Angeles native was. Poetic Justice placed the spotlight on Black women back in 1993, Higher Learning portrayed a school shooting in 1995 and 1997’s Rosewood told a lost story from Black history about the 1923 Rosewood, Florida massacre. He made hard topics important long before they became a regular part of our daily conversations. At age 24, he was the first African American and youngest person to have ever been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for his cinematic debut Boyz n the Hood in 1991.

John Singleton Inspired a Generation of Creators and Filmmakers

All tribute screenings will take place at USC’s campus in Los Angeles and are free, though an RSVP is required and will include conversations with cast and crew from the films. The director’s mother, Sheila Ward; location manager, Kojo Lewis; and Frank Price, “former CEO of Columbia Pictures, who mentored Singleton and shepherded the project into production,” will participate in the discussion for Boyz n the Hood.

Per a press release provided to The Root, Alex Ago, Director of Programming for the USC School of Cinematic Arts, said:

“John Singleton was a true filmmaking genius, artist and humanitarian who was interested in and motivated by the social and cultural implications of his films. His impact on the industry and audiences across the globe cannot be overstated. John’s voice and influence live on within the SCA family, and we are forever grateful for his contribution to cinema. With this retrospective, we celebrate a true master of the art of storytelling.”


John Singleton passed away on April 28, 2019, after having suffered a stroke a few days earlier. He was 51.

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