The Hate U Give | Book Review

The Hate U Give is the story from the perspective of the subjugated. Angie Thomas has put Black Lives Matter in the spotlight and writes about the millions of black people who die at the hands of police brutality.

The Hate U Give is the story from the perspective of the subjugated. Angie Thomas has put Black Lives Matter in the spotlight and writes about the millions of black people who die at the hands of police brutality.

Starr Carter lives two lives: there’s the bashful and articulate girl, she is coerced to be at Williamson to blend in with her rich friends. However, she cannot let her friends over at Williamson High know who she really is to avoid people’s assumptions and their judgement.

“When they do it, they’re cool. When we do it, we’re ghetto.”

Fleeing from a party in the tantalizing neighborhood of Garden Heights, Starr Carter’s world is twisted when she witnesses the murder of her defenseless friend, Khalil, at the hands of a white police officer. The media does a great job in making Khalil seem like a threat; Starr is the only one who can get him justice.

“Once upon a time there was a hazel-eyed boy with dimples. I called him Khalil. The world called him a thug.”

Starr wants to raise her voice against the prejudice and oppression that the black community faces, but that means risking everything. That means breaking the rules she set for herself and it could be fatal to not only her but her entire neighborhood.

Watching one of her best friends get killed is the second time Starr has watched someone die. At
the age of ten, her childhood friend, Natasha, died in a drive-by shooting. Starr hasn’t spoken a
word about it out of fear. She doesn’t want the same thing to happen to her.

Starr decides to stay silent and protest against police brutality by sharing hashtags on Tumblr. But laying low has her questioning herself.

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

People say what they want about black people, without knowing their side of the story first. The media portrays them as “thugs” and people are threatened by the color of their skin.

“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us.”

After One-Fifteen shoots, Khalil’s drug dealing becomes a justification for his death. This system trapped not only Khalil but thousands of other black people with no options and then punished them for their lack of options. Thomas says to bring light to the controversial issue of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The hairbrush in Khalil’s hand was not a weapon, but Starr’s voice is. Before, she watched and listened to other people protest. Now, she wants to be better. A better person and more importantly, a better friend.

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

The Hate U Give and other books by authors of color were especially promoted during the riots in June 2020 for justice for victims of police brutality.

“You can destroy wood and brick, but you can’t destroy a movement.”

During the 1600s, Africans were kept as slaves in the United States. They passed down the rage born out of the hate they were given, which fuels the riots and protests. It builds a movement that fights for justice for people who are desperate to get out of an inequitable system.

It’s the same story, just a different name.
Emmet Till.
Breonna Taylor.
George Floyd.
Atattiana Jefferson.
Tamir Rice.
Ahmed Arbury.

Books like The Hate U Give are a must-read as it teaches anti-racism and the consequences of police brutality, its effect on the victim’s family and friends and most importantly, on our community. With pressure from each side, Starr must stand up and speak up for justice and peace. And she won’t stop until she wins.

“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”

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