The Hate U Give
by Valeria Leon
T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. The hate you give little infants f**ks everybody. This famous 2Pac saying has become the basis and inspiration for the book and movie The Hate U Give.
The Hate U Give is about 16 year old Starr Carter, who lives in Garden Heights, a predominantly black neighborhood, and attends school at Williamson, a prep school in a white suburban neighborhood. The balance she tries to keep between these two places comes crashing down when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a white police officer in an unwarranted traffic, stop where Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, with people calling him a gangbanger, thug, and even a drug dealer to try and justify his death. Police don't seem to show any interest in showing Khalil's death any justice, so protesters and activists take to the streets of Starr’s neighborhood.
The story follows Starr and how she deals with everything going on on each side of the line. As the only witness Starr has to make choice, speak up about Khalil’s death and take the threats coming her way, or stay silent and watch as Khalil’s image is run to the ground.
This movie could not have come out at a better time. With police discrimination and brutality at the center of our news outlets almost everyday The Hate U Give provides an eye opening experience of what a police shooting does to a community and the people in it.
Actress Amandla Stenberg described how the movie was meant to force people to see how these unwarranted police shootings can affect people.
“We wanted to make sure that those who have been affected by the ways the media misconstrues these events actually have a real sense of empathy and are able to place themselves into the shoes of our communities. It’s supposed to be a tool of empathy,” Amandla explained. “It’s meant to ground [the issue] in a personal narrative, and hopefully people will have a sense of empathy because of that.”
The Hate U Give also touches base with other issues that many people of color face everyday throughout their lives like “code switching,” drug trade, and gang violence, along with delivering an impactful message about the police brutality issues that we face in today's world.