On April 29, iconic director, John Singleton passed away at the age of 51. On April 17, Singleton was hospitalized following a massive stroke, fell into a coma and his family decided Monday, April 28 to take him off life support. His family stated that the innovative director had a history of hypertension, which led to the stroke.

John Singleton was a famous director, whose cinematic debut “Boyz N the Hood” earned him an Oscar nomination for best director, making him the first African-American and youngest person to ever be nominated for the award. The movie, “Boyz N the Hood” which was a poignant portrayal of three African-American teens navigating life in South Central, Los Angeles, showed how black life was in inner cities and challenged the way how non-black people saw African Americans.

Since childhood, John Singleton adored cinema, he was influenced by coming of age films like “Cooley High” and watched everything from slasher films to blaxploitation movies.

As he grew older, Singleton attended USC school of Film-Television, where he began writing the screenplay for “Boyz N the Hood” during his senior year. His debut film premiered at Cannes film festival and garnered many praise audience members and critics alike. Thus making him a force to be reckoned with in the movie industry.

Singleton has made a series of other iconic films such as, “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Baby Boy,” “Higher Learning,” and “Poetic Justice,” which starred singer, Janet Jackson, and late rapper Tupac Shakur. He recently made the transition to television with the FX series “Snowfall,” which talked about the rise of the crack cocaine epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles. He also produced and directed episodes for “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and “Empire.”

After his death, Singleton’s family urges the Black community to check their blood pressure, since African Americans are at higher risk for hypertension and stroke. Singleton will forever be remembered as a great filmmaker and as a pioneer that broke down barriers for future black directors.

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