To commemorate a pioneer that helped to amplify different narratives out of the California city, Los Angeles named May 21 as John Singleton Day, EBONY reports. In a statement published by the website, the city’s Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. praised the late Singleton’s career and cinematic vision.
“In a time and in an industry where all the odds were stacked against him, John overcame and became the best at his craft,” Wesson stated. “And more than maybe anyone, he opened people’s eyes to a reality and an experience of South Los Angeles that had been overlooked by society. It’s far sooner than we should have to, but there is so much to celebrate.”
In mid-April, Singleton began to experience bouts of pain in his legs which led to a stroke. The medical condition caused Singleton to fall into a coma and remain on life support until his family made the decision to take him off. Singleton passed away at age 51.
Collaborators and fellow film directors expressed their memories of Singleton, including the famed Spike Lee. The She’s Gotta Have It director wrote his tribute on Instagram, recalling a certain moment in time that sums up Singleton’s impact.
“We met while he was a film student at USC. Over many years people have told me ‘I’m going to be a filmmaker,’ when John said that to me the first time we met, I believed him right away,” Lee wrote. “It was no surprise. With his passion, his heart, the way he talked about his love for cinema and black folks I could see John would make it happen, and he did. From day one, we have remained close over the decades, cheering each other on in this industry that is not set up for us to win. John Singleton’s films will live on forever.”
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I Will Forever Miss My Brother John Singleton. We Met While He Was A Film Student At USC. Over Many Years People Have Told Me “I’m Going To Be A Filmmaker”, When John Said That To Me The 1st Time We Met, I Believed Him Right Away. It Was No Surprise. With His Passion, His Heart, The Way He Talked About His Love For Cinema And Black Folks I Could See John Would Make It Happen, And He Did. From Day One, We Have Remained Close Over The Decades, Cheering Each Other On In This Industry That Is Not Set Up For Us To Win. John Singleton’s Films Will Live On Forever. Blessings And Prayers For His Family. May John Rest In Power. Amen.