By John H. Foote

The first African American to ever be nominated for the Academy Award as Best Director has died. Fifty one year old filmmaker John Singleton died today after being removed from life support. Singleton slipped into a coma after suffering a massive stroke last week. Initially there was hope, but his condition rapidly declined in the last few days. Just twenty four when nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, for his film Boyz N the Hood (1991), Singleton established a reputation for bringing powerful, honest stories to the screen which explored the black experience. Based on his experiences growing up in East LA, he shot the film in his old neighbourhood.Among his more notable works were the powerful remake Shaft (2000) and perhaps best of all, FourBrothers (2005). I am not convinced he ever surpassed the artistry of his first film. Singleton was known for being hugely supportive of young black film artists and often was responsible for their films being made. A huge loss for his family and the film community. 

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