The Book “The Hate U Give” Brings The Drama On & Off The Page

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Look, y’all. You should already know that I would never send you guys off, so I advise you to take my advice and read Angie Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give. With a title that derives from Tupac Shakur’s famous line “The Hate U Give Little Infants F–ks Everyone,” the pages are filled with love, suspense, comedy, and truth; everything that helps us heal as a community. If you’ve turned a blind eye to the treatment of people of color, feel comfortable in AmeriKKKa, or you’re just “woke,” this book is for you. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil ALL of it!

In a world where a never ending cycle of systemic racism and police brutality continues to claim the lives of our colored brothers and sisters, Thomas, a number one, New York Times bestselling author, has given us a bittersweet taste of what it’s like to survive and cope with the pressures of being Black in AmeriKKKa.

In the book, sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is torn between two worlds. In one she lives with her family in a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood. In the other, she attends a suburban prep school where she hangs out with her subtly racist, privileged friends and the White boyfriend she’s hiding from her fam, who rocks the latest Jordans and raps the lyrics of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from memory.

Somehow, despite jumping from one neighborhood to another, Starr never forgets where she came from–Garden Heights. Starr is soon faced with the cold hard reality of being Black when she is dragged to a party that she had no business going to. Fleeing the party that was invaded by gunshots, she gets on the road with her long time friend Khalil, only to be stopped by a police officer. While pulled over to the side of the road, Starr witnesses Khalil being killed by the officer. With the blood of her friend on “Officer-One-Fifteen’s” hands, Starr is the only person that can testify on Khalil’s behalf. Although she is constantly intimidated by a local drug lord and the police, Starr seeks justice and finds the courage to testify in the presence of the grand jury. And the ending? Well, that’s for you to find out on your own. I can’t spoil too much.

If you love the book, chances are you’ll love the movie too. That’s right, according to Thomas’ Twitter page, The Hate U Give is coming to theaters near you on October 19th. The talented cast includes Amandla Stenberg from The Hunger Games (Rue) and Everything, Everything, Algee “Black Boy Joy” Smith from The New Edition Story, Common, Issa Rae, and Regina Hall. In February Kian Lawley, who was supposed to play Starr’s boyfriend, Chris, was fired from the project, as a video resurfaced on the web of him. Not only was the former YouTube star using the N-word and other racial slurs, but he was also saying: “We’re all Black drinking purple Kool-aid and eating Kentucky Fried motherf—king Chicken.” Along with taking down the video, Lawley issued an apology.

I’m disappointed but not surprised, to say the least. On behalf of the Black community, we do not accept your apology. You’re dismissed Kian Lawley. Literally. Production was delayed because all the scenes for the Chris character had to be re-filmed for The Hate U Give project. The new actor taking on the role is CW’s “Riverdale” star, KJ Apa.

 

 

 

Out of the 444 pages of the book, not one is wasted. The author gracefully educates and opens up a discussion on the modern Black experience as she encourages readers to take a closer look through a lens of AmeriKKKa’s broken justice system. The Hate U Give is a brutally honest reflection of AmeriKKKa as we know it. With that being said, add this book to the top of your reading list. I literally read this four times over a span of a year. I truly did not want to put this book down and I’m almost certain you’ll feel the same way.

 

By Jada Daniel, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep, Junior

Twitter: @tgijadaaa

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