John Singleton: Higher Learning in Hollywood: Moviemaker Opens Up about His Work and His Relationship with Model and Actress Tyra Banks
Collier, Aldore, Ebony
When he wroter and directed Boyz N The Hood four years ago, John Singleton became the toast of Hollywood. At 23, he became the first Black and the youngest director ever nominated for an Oscar in the best directing category. There were standing ovations, handshakes and accolades everywhere he went.
And there was money. Boyz, a coming-of-age movie about the extreme importance of Black fathers in the lives of their sons, pulled in more than $100 million worldwide. His follow-up, Poetic Justice, about a sensitive relationship between a postal worker and a woman who's seen her share of violence, earned $30 million. And the still-in-release Higher Learning brought in more than $30 million in its first three weeks. Higher Learning, a film about racial and sexual tensions on a mostly White college campus, features Singleton's significant other, supermodel Tyra Banks.
The money and the accolades heaped on him were nice but they have never distracted him from his mission of making movies that could make Black people feel good, proud and aware. "I want to dignify African-Americans through films. We need to show them with some dignity. Humanize them, not just with positive images. We need to show a balance of good and bad," Singleton says. "There's a wealth of Black literature out there that has yet to be put on the screen correctly. Traditionally, Black men in the movies were always emasculated. They took their manhood away. Hollywood didn't want to see strong Black men. Everyone shows us as …
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Publication information: Article title: John Singleton: Higher Learning in Hollywood: Moviemaker Opens Up about His Work and His Relationship with Model and Actress Tyra Banks. Contributors: Collier, Aldore - Author. Magazine title: Ebony. Volume: 50. Issue: 6 Publication date: April 1995. Page number: 122+. © 1999 Johnson Publishing Co. COPYRIGHT 1995 Gale Group.
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