The Hate U Give
“The Hate U Give” By Angie Thomas
In the book The Hate U Give, the author Angie Thomas puts us in the view point of Starr, a teenage girl born and raised in Garden Heights. Which is a lower class black neighborhood where she was forced to witness the murder of her best friend. With this tragedy the theme of activism is highlighted, Starr brings the controversial topics of racial injustice, police brutality and the protest of black lives matter. The development of Starr’s character and the confidence she gains to speak her truth throughout the novel displays her want to be an activist. The form of activism is everywhere in this book, the deeper meaning of the title The Hate U Give is incredible in its own. It originates from a tattoo Tupac Shakur had saying Thug Life.
It stands for “The Hate U Give Little Infants F*cks Everyone” proposing that the negativity you feed to young kids sprouts hatred within them that later in life will backfire when they take there anger out on the world (Thomas, 17). T.H.U.G shows the reality and struggles people of color and people in minorities are forced to deal with. Along with Tupac’s music both inspire and tell the stories of people whose voices are stripped away from them without reasoning. This brings attention to the problems happening of the injustice happening around the world. By putting the reader in the shoes of a suppressed minority who deals with racism on a daily basis it makes the concept more personal and transforms them into a different perspective. Starr’s story of individual growth is inspirational to people all around the world because of her effort to raise awareness to the cultural issues that some are afraid to speak about. She was able to relate to most kids, either because of her issues to fit in or her struggle to find her voice. Her story gave hope and confidence to kids that you can always work through a hard situation, because of her act of standing up to speak her voice it may influence others around the world to do this as well.
The actions taken by Starr to bring Khalil justice after his death show the activism characteristics developed over time within her personality. The act of her standing up on top of the cop car represents her stance against the judge’s verdict, she uses her voice to defend and spread Khalil because the true story hasn’t been spoken. Soon after the verdict she starts speaking out her truth; and she doesn’t ask for justice she demands it. “This isn’t about how Khalil died. It’s about the fact that he lived.” (Thomas, 412), Starr stated this when she was protesting because the stories being told were twisted to make Khalil’s life seem invalid and unworthy solely on his appearance and where he was raised. They would make the cop seem to be the victim when he was the killer.
The racial injustice and biased beliefs of the police was seen multiple times in the novel. It was shown while Khalil was being pulled over, during Starr’s interrogation and the TV interview of officer Cruise’s father. In all scenes Khalil was displayed to be threatening, uncooperative and dangerous, Starr is the only person that would be able to clear his name since she was the sole witness. The biased opinion of the police was brought to light while detective Gomez and detective Wilkes were interrogating Starr. She was never questioned about the cop’s actions during the incident because they didn’t see him as being at fault. They were bombarding Starr with questions to try and make her somehow put Khalil at fault but Starr knew what they were trying to do. She would correct the detectives when they would say a question that would have a negative effect on Khalil. Through the interrogation they undermined and devalued Khalil’s life.
By asking irrelevant questions such as whether he was involved in a gang, if he sold drugs, if he had taken drugs in the past (Thomas, 96-103). The first person perspective of Starr helps outside viewers develop a better understanding of the harsh reality some minorities have to deal with. This story opened my eyes on these topics because I didn’t have much experience and exposure to these circumstances where I grew up. This is vital for all people to read for the information that is learned while reading, I got to hear from the in person perspective about police violence, racism and Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM).
From the book I felt more connected to the BLM Movement because I got to know Khalil on a personal level instead of just hearing it through the social media where they twist the story. I’ve learned to stop judging situations so quickly because they is always two sides to the story. Before I would hear about these shooting between a white officer and black victim it would be assumed that the black victim was most likely armed, aggressive or involved with drugs/ illegal activities. Now I look further into the story to see the actual circumstances instead of believing I’m being told the whole story. The news and police can dehumanize or degrade certain scenarios by having the public only know the negative aspects of a person so the victim is perceived as unworthy of basic rights.
The Hate U Give is a powerful form of activism that will be back upon for years to come from the incredible detail that made you feel as if you were living Starr’s life with her. Thomas brought up these topics and demanded them to be spoken about so change could start to occur, and gain the attention of the public. This novel helps to remind people that we are making steps towards equality but racism is still alive in the lives of these minority’s, so we have work to do for our future. Hopefully Starr’s life influences or helps people in related issues begin to speak out for their truth.
The Activism Of Black People In The Hate U Give
In Chapter seven of The Hate U Give, Starr says the only thing worse than being thought of as the angry black girl is being the weak black girl. This essay argues that Starr is really afraid of being considered weak; she feels like she can’t be herself, and that this is even worse than being weak. This assertion will be demonstrated in a number of ways, including most important a comparison with other controversial topics, an analysis of Thomas’s own declaration of her view of what she’s trying to across; and finally a close-reading of the book explaining the conflict.
“Once you’ve seen how broken someone is it’s like seeing them naked—you can’t look at them the same anymore.” (83) Being a black girl I get where Starr comes from. She continues to hide away her pain while still trying to be there for everyone else she cares about. In the book, Starr holds on both the secret of knowing who killed Natasha and humiliation of not being brave enough to tell someone. As a 16 year-old, Starr quickly learns that even if she does attempt to tell someone whether she witnesses a murder (or even everyday racist comments she recive) that the adults around her don’t always have the help she’s looking for.
Starr tries to stop the memories that bother her and try her best in becoming the kind of person her family and friends need her to be. She’s the obedient daughter for her parents, the one that never causes them trouble. For her friends, she’s the “non threatening black girl” who allows them to have a taste of what being Black is like. They use slang, rap the lyrics to the newest trap song while not knowing how it’s affecting Starr. To them slang makes them cool, but for Starr slang makes her hood. “Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be Black until it’s hard to be Black.” (11)
Later in the book, Starr can no longer keep up the double version of “Starr 2.0,” or that of the silent witness, after she sees her childhood best friend Khalil get killed. Her whole identity begins to changel. Starr emotions come to anger in the book where she goes up to her White best friend Hailey, who keep on saying that Khalil was a thug who would’ve been killed anyway because he was a threat to the public. People don’t need to say the “N-word” to be racist or to hate Black people. Starr wanted Haliey to know that people who are not purposely racist can still say comments that are in fact racist.
Starr’s national television interview is a huge moment in her change from being too afraid and guilty to speak up to Khalil, to end up leading the protests against his death in Garden Height streets. “Ms. Ofrah said this interview is the way I fight. When you fight, you put yourself out there, not caring who you hurt or if you’ll get hurt. So I throw one more blow, right at One-Fifteen. I’d ask him if he wished he shot me too.” (290) Even though Starr doesn’t like violence, she understands how anger can turn into violence. Ms. Ofrah points out, Starr’s voice is the most useful weapon she has in fighting injustice.
The Hate U Give shows a powerful form of activism that will stay with us for a long time, the different scenes Thomas uses, it made me feel as if I were living Starr’s life with her. Thomas brought up these topics and made sure it’s going to be spoken about so change can be made, and get the attention of the public. This book helps remind people that society is making small steps towards equality for everyone but never to forget racism is still alive in the lives of black people.
The Hate U Give And Portrayal Of The Racial And Systematic Injustices
Racial injustice has been an issue over the past decades. So, when choosing books to read, I focus on pieces that address these issues. For instance, I particularly enjoyed The Hate U Give a fiction novel portraying the racial and systematic injustices African Americans face in America today. The main character of the book, Starr Carter is a young African American teenage girl who witnessed the police shooting of her childhood friend, Khalil, when the officer mistakenly confused his hairbrush for a gun. After witnessing this incident, she now feels pressure from all sides of the community because his death became a catalyst to protest racial injustice throughout the community. Starr felt like she had to lead this being the witness and she was not prepared to. Starr must overcome her fears and stand up for what she believes is right.
Although some critics may consider racism a harsh subject, most audiences will find some part of the novel enjoyable, whether it be the family support system that the main character possesses, or the way bravery is shown throughout the book. The Hate U Give is a quality novel because it portrays a relatable main character who powerfully overcomes obstacles and conveys a perspective on how systematic racism is dealt with in America. The most significant aspect of the book to me was that the main character was very relatable despite background and ethnicity. In the book, Starr faced issues with keeping her home and school life separate. She attends Williamson Prep, which is a primarily white private school, but she lives in Garden Heights a mostly poor, African American neighborhood.
Throughout the book Starr states having to be “preppy Starr” at school and that she felt as though she could never be herself around the people she went to school with because she was black and did not live a wealthy lifestyle like her peers. I feel me and this character relate because being an African American person I always felt like I had to hang out with people that are the same race as me and when I was around others that were not I had to act differently to impress them. Furthermore, I find her relatable when it comes to her family dynamic. It gives a realistic view of a true family and that they only want the best for each other, which was something I found impressionable while reading this novel. Ultimately, The Hate U Give maintains a relatable main character by including the struggles of her life, such as keeping her public and private life separate while also standing up for what she believes in and all while maintaining the support of her family. The second strongest aspect of this novel is that it conveys a perspective of how systematic racism is exemplified with in America.
Portraying the events through Starr’s eyes, this book displays how the media presents young black men as guilty until proven innocent. Starr chooses to confront a system that she knows is working against her. She fears speaking out, and not speaking out. Khalil’s shooter may evade justice if she does not speak out. It was stated in the media that Khalil was a possible gang member. This information led to the media and the community to believe that Khalil’s death was justified. Furthermore, the officer who committed the shooting was not allowed to interact with the media on his innocence. They allowed a relative to do it in order to protect him from the media. Overall, The Hate U Give conveys a perspective of how systematic racism is perpetrated with in America. Portraying Khalil in a negative way in the media to validate his death and shielding the officer who committed the shooting from the media are two examples of systematic racism. Although, The Hate U Give is a noteworthy novel because it presents a relatable main character and a realistic situation. Melina Abdullah and Patrisse Khan-Cullors may object that the book is motivated by the black lives matter movement.
The Los Angeles Sentinel states that the book “makes black people responsible for their oppression.” However, in my view, The Los Angeles Sentinel is wrong because Khalil was unarmed and already had a judgement formed against him by the police officer. More specifically, I believe that a racial bias is already set in the justice system which is allowing so many unarmed shootings against unarmed black men to go unpunished. Racial bias is also why African American men are sentenced longer to jail than any other race even if the same crime is committed. For example, People protest for change because they know the justice system is unreliable. Although the Los Angeles Sentinel may challenge my view by insisting that this is not a Black Lives Matter book, I maintain that it is. Therefore, I conclude that this book examines a perspective of systematic racism and is motivated by the Black Lives Matter Movement. The Hate U Give is a valuable narrative because it depicts a relatable young African American female main character who powerfully conquers obstacles and expresses a perspective of how systematic racism is portrayed with in America. I uphold that the book shares with all races, ages and genders the types of struggles African Americans face. I conclude that Thomas provides a glimpse into some of the struggles of the African American community. The Hate U Give will always be a quality fiction novel because it upholds a perspective of how racism is dealt with currently in America and provides insight to those who know little to nothing or dismiss and, underestimate the seriousness of this issue.
The Exposure Of Various Social Issues In The Hate U Give
Critically acclaimed film director, George Tillman Jr. hit the ground running the day his film: “The Hate U Give” made it on the big screen. Based on the book, by best selling author, Angie Thomas, Tillman depicts the life of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter who finds herself continuously shifting between two worlds: a poor black neighborhood, Garden Heights, in which she lives and Williamson Prep, the rich white preparatory school she attends. Finding a balance between these two worlds was never easy, and the day she witnessed local law enforcement brutally kill her best childhood friend, Kahlil, the balance was forever lost. Quickly facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr has to find her voice and stand up for what she believes is right. This mirrors today’s society in the authenticism of the racial inequities that occur each day on city streets to suburban shopping malls. Tillman argues that racial discrimination is what divides America. Carter’s ability to find her voice and take action are among many of the reasons this movie has made such an impact on its viewers. In today’s society, people of color continue to fall victim to gun violence, racial profiling, and racism despite efforts to educate individuals on the issues.
George Tillman Jr. uses different aspects of everyday life and incorporates this into the movie. “The Hate U Give,” is about Starr Carter’s, journey through life as she tries to discover who she is after her best friend Khalil was shot and killed by a police officer in front of her eyes. April Ofrah an activist, approaches Starr at Khalil’s funeral. Persuading her to take action against the police, and invites her to a rally in honor of Khalil. Starr tries to understand how the world can be so unjust as she protests throughout the movie. The society that we live in today has failed us. We continuously encounter racial discrimination daily. Tillman ensures that the viewer sees a different type of America when watching his work. Tillman wants to take the viewer onto the unbalanced scale of justice. By allowing the viewer to get close to the character Kahlil, and then brutally slaying him, the viewer, along with Starr, seeks some form of retribution. This retribution, however, does not come. From police shootings to racists comments, to underrepresentation, people of color deserve more than what this society gives to them. “The Hate U Give,” clearly reveals the unbalance of police brutality. The main goal of this film is to improve the Just Us for Justice movement. In the film, April Ofrah, an activist attorney, allows Starr the platform to speak up against injustice within her community. This is a pitch by Tillman to the black community to join movements such as Black Lives Matter to ensure their voices are heard. As New York Post film reviewer, Naomi Schaeffer Riley, is quick to point out though, this opinion is being given with minimal concern for statistical evidence, “in the coming years, (The Hate You Give) will inevitably become required reading in high schools and colleges across America. When that happens, students will get a kind of fictional confirmation of the narrative that they hear from the academic left, the media, and guilty white liberals about the racist country they inhabit.” (Riley) The film reaches many expenses of racism forms, and the main character Starr, hints some images of young black women. People of color are very underrepresented in Hollywood and everyday life, as well. This movie does what should have been done a long time again, hence the recognition this movie got, it incorporates a cast of diverse and speaks on issues that are current in our society, as mentioned above and following the further review, police brutality, racial profiling, and gun violence.
Gun violence is portrayed throughout the movie, with acts of cruel violence initiated by a gun. The catalyst for conflict within the film occurs during a traffic stop, Starr’s childhood best friend Khalil was shot when a police officer mistook a hairbrush for a gun. The film is Tillman’s indictment on white police officers for being so ready to pull the trigger against a black civilian. This act played out as Starr watches helplessly. This movie focuses heavily on gun violence and shows how some people have a constant fear against a race, resulted in a prejudice act of hate crime. According to ScootScoop.com, “It is not uncommon for people of color to be killed by cops, or people, in general, to die from mass shootings. Because this has become a normality, these topics are usually glossed over as just “another shooting,” and “The Hate U Give” is transparent about this reality.” (ScootScoop) George Tillman Jr spared no details of the shooting and the events that follow, to give the viewers a personal and real experience. Starr is working to abolish police brutality and racial discrimination. I can still very much connect to her willingness to fight for bettering this society.
Police brutality plays a significant role in the movie, aside from the senseless slaying of Khalil, Starr’s parents Maverick and Lisa, fear for their children’s lives due to their race. For instance, they give each of their kids “the talk” about how to act around a police officer and, more importantly, why the rage against a corrupt system exists so vehemently within each black American. Starr recalls, “Daddy once told me there’s a rage passed down to every black man from his ancestors, born the moment they couldn’t stop the slave masters from hurting their families. Daddy also said there’s nothing more dangerous than when that rage is activated.” For a person of color, this can be a matter of life or death to know how to behave in front of an officer. The siblings have been taught to surrender at the slightest glimpse of a police officer, and to state the Black Panthers Ten-Point Program, “we want an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of black people, other people of color, and oppressed people,” (Brody). These steps are necessary in a world that quickly assumes that black people are dangerous.
Racial profiling, gun violence, and police brutality are important subject matters that unfortunately have to be dealt with daily in today’s society. As explained, “The Hate U Give” was mainly deceitful acts of hate, that occurred throughout the movie. Racial profiling, gun violence, and police brutality are depicted when Starr witnessed an encountered with her friend being killed by a cop. Dealing with these controversial topics mentioned above, Starr’s whole life shifted her perspective and mentality towards cops, even her race. Tillman’s depiction of these social themes through Starr’s actions provide a thoroughly riveting ride and allow the viewer the chance, if they have not already had one, to see the world through a separate perspective.
The Ban Of The Exceptional Novel, The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas has become a rising issue among many school boards. While showing opinion towards the black lives matter movement. Many people are starting to have realization of this problem and have started standing up for their rights, not only for themselves but for others. In fact, The Hate U Give has positive effect towards society, and can remind people about problems that are happening in our world, and the reality of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
There has been a wide variety of opinions towards The Hate U Give. Most of the complaints towards the book were from the parents (Gomez). For where, many parents say the book was being pervasively vulgar, used profanity, showed drug use, and offensive language (Pekoll). The school board quickly took action towards the feedback and decided to ban The Hate U Give in the Texas school district. (Pekoll). The district superintendent, Lance Hindt only banned the book because of “pervasive vulgarity and racially-insensitive language” (“intellectual freedom. blog, 18 Dec. 2017”). Many people were not delighted with the decision, and decided to take action.
Many students began to rise up towards the action, and decided it was time to make a stand. A student named Ny’Shira started the petition of gaining The Hate U Give back into the school districts libraries (Gomez). In fact, the petition was a huge success. Ny’Shira received over 4,000 signatures (Gomez). Therefore, The superintendent had no other choice but to come to terms (Diaz). The students started the petition because they believed the superintendent had no specific reason for banning the book (Gomez). A young woman named Abby Berner claimed that the superintendent only banned the book because of the parents point of view (Pekoll). The superintendent eventually came to terms by bringing the book back to the school boards, but students would have to get permission from their parents to check out the book (Pekoll). The problem was eventually solved but still there are many people who disagree with bringing The Hate U Give back into the schools libraries (Pekoll). Certainly, the feedback was not done yet.
The Hate U Give, has been leaning towards the Black Lives Matter perspective. “The book the Hate U Give was and insult to the black lives matter movement” (“intellectual freedom, blog, 18 Dec. 2017”). The book can have a positive effect in influencing young teens, about issues they may not be aware of. Some reasons are, it will remind people about racial inequality, it can set examples, and people will become more aware (Pekoll). “Recourses say, it will have a number of sides of controversial issues so that students can have an opportunity to develop” (“intellectual freedom, blog, 18 Dec. 2017”). There is more research facts to support the evidence. Profanity in the Hate U Give, is not the main issue to worry about. The more important part is the message that the book is trying to convey. In The Hate U Give it shows the main character Starr, witness her best friend get shot by a police (Diaz). Without a doubt, this shows the reality of the inequality people show to African American lives.
The black Lives matter movement has becoming more of awareness from many areas. Whereas, different generations may not have the same awareness towards the movement. Without influence for example, The Hate U Give, people won’t have Realization about the real life situation. In any case, the book sets an influence towards other readers, and shows how they have the right to stick up for themselves. It has an impact on many young readers lives that needs to be shown at a young age so that the future generations have hopes on a society.
The Interpretation Of Tragedy In The Hate U Give
Worlds of individuals can be shifted by the events of tragedy. In Angie Thomas’s novel “The Hate U Give,” she explains the views and lives of individuals that grow from tragedy. Thomas’s interpretation of tragedy is formed through real-life events in the United States, from racism to murder. Even though tragedy can affect people in numerous ways, tragedy can be overcome and transformed into a light in the darkness. In “The Hate U Give,” Thomas digs down into the belief that community, relationships, family, friendships, and heartbreak can be never-ending because of tragedy.
Communities can be brought together through tragedy. As shown in “The Hate U Give,” the tragedy that occurs in people’s lives can drastically alter the way people live and think. At Khalil Harris’s funeral at the church, a woman stands up and speaks about an organization born within the community. “My name is April Ofrah, and i’m with “Just Us For Justice.” (Chapter 8, 133). She then goes on to speak about the officer who shot and killed Khalil Harris, but Thomas digs a little bit deeper with this line from the chapter, as she is showing a representation of what a community can come back from and also what a community can form through tragedy. Her organization supports parents, and siblings of young black men who have been shot and killed by law enforcement. The community that Thomas has portrayed within the book shows that communities can be brought together through tragedy.
Relationships can be formed through tragedy. The relationships and friendships that Starr has with her boyfriend and peers at school tells two different stories. Starr’s friendships in the book are filled with conversations about many different things, conversations about whether a certain food should be toasted or conversations about basketball. But with Chris, their conversations have a more serious tone to them. “I kneel beside my dead friend in the middle of the street with my hands raised. A cop as white as Chris points a gun at me.”(Chapter 5, 83). Chris interacts physically with Starr and she has a flashback to the night Khalil was shot next to her. This event was sudden for Chris, and traumatizing for Starr, later in the book Chris finally has a better understanding of Starr’s pain and ache. Chris better understanding what was going on with Starr is a direct example to a relationship forming and strengthening through tragedy.
Families can be strengthened through tragedy. Starr’s family has bonded through many things such as Starr’s dad’s corner shop that he owns, the person that he is known as in the community and basketball. “We stop at a red light. A Riverton Hills patrol car pulls up beside us. Seven straightens up and stares ahead, barely blinking and gripping the steering wheel… I stare ahead and pray for the light to change too.” (Chapter 5, 87). Starr, Sekani, and Seven all experience what Starr experienced on the night of Khalil’s death. Not as intense, nor did it have nearly the same ending. But the tension they all felt in the car is a reaction to the thought of a tragedy happening again, but to them this time. Thomas explores the ideology of real-life events and experiences of young black men and women when they see a police officer. Comparing and using common knowledge to manipulate how the characters in the book react to different scenarios. The three family members in the car have experienced the fear brought upon Starr the night of Khalil’s death, they all see the fear that Starr had that night. Thus growing the bond and relationship throughout the book of Starr’s family.
Friendships can be formed and strengthened through the events of a tragedy. Starr switching between two characters to hide who she really is has opened up possibilities of forming new friendships at Williamson High. The book ‘The Hate U Give’ portrays a strong view on children coming from struggling neighborhoods. Starr does not want her peer to see her as the “colored girl from the ghetto” as claimed in the book. The connection she has with her friends at Williamson shows how well she is able to switch characters in a new environment. Starr and her friends have controversial conversations about a post of a teen shot and killed on social media. The image on the post is graphic and one of her friends says that those kinds of posts don’t belong on such a wide-spread platform. But also with her friendships she’s built outside of her high school, she has developed an understanding that there are others like her that want to spread the same message on the death of Khalil Harris. April Ofrah, a public speaker for the group ‘Just Us For Justice’ is a woman that Starr admires within the book, and grows a special connection with, Ofrah was not in contact with Starr nor did not know of her until the funeral for Khalil Harris. Thus introducing a new friendship for Starr to grow with through tragedy.
Heartbreak can be never-ending through the events of a tragedy. Thomas paints a perfect picture of heartbreak in the novel ‘The Hate U Give’, Starr witnesses her childhood friend murdered in the street during a routine traffic stop performed by a white officer identified as “115.” The media shortly after Khalil’s death describes Harris’s actions, not his character. News strories on the television and news articles on websites describe him as: “gang member”, or better yet.
Thomas dives into the idea that tragedy is very impactful in a lot of ways, it can impact a person negatively in many ways, but tragedy can reach some positive points, having positive outcomes. The perspective of communities, relationships, and families forming through a negative event in life. Shown by Thomas, the importance of community in a tough event or time in life, like Khalil’s funeral. The impact of the relationships and the people you have around you, dug into with the Post Traumatic Stress event with Starr when interacting with her boyfriend. Lastly, the seriousness of family coming together through a tragedy, through Starr and her siblings experiencing a tense moment with the cops. “The Hate U Give” is impactful and relates to real-life situations, almost replicating the events and thoughts of a real life, young black teen. Angie Thomas chose to dig deeper into ideas that relate to real-life events, because the separation between fiction, and non-fiction, can be narrowed down by one perspective of an author.
Inequality Merges With Truth: Societies at Odds in ‘The Hate U Give’
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas explores the depths of one sixteen year-old’s life and the struggles she faces daily as a black female who has grown up in an underprivileged neighborhood and developed her emotions, thoughts and feelings through time and tragedy. Starr Carter’s life is quickly turned upside down when she is faced with the trouble her father always warned her about—police violence. This young girl is lost and confused as she witnesses the tragic death of one of her best friends since she was only three years old as a result of systemic inequality, which slowly breaks down the fragile divide she has between the two lives she lives everyday—one in poor Garden Heights and the other at her prep school. The inequalities between the binary of blacks and whites in the two social communities that she is apart of are prominent and allow the readers to truly immerse themselves in the way that racism and permanent inequality feels.
The author brings close attention to the two clashing societies that Starr is a part of and the social injustices that occur as the individuals within the society interact as a whole unit. Class is an axis of stratification and can be explained through the inequalities regarding the wealthy and the poor. In a conversation between Starr and her father she explains, “it’s what society feeds us as youth and how it comes back and bites them later. . . I think it’s about more than the youth though. I think it’s about us. . .black people, minorities, poor people, everyone at the bottom of society” (Thomas 168). The young children within a specific social structure often grow older to resemble the history placed before them, through their own agents of socialization such as the school the attend, the family they are born into or the media they see on a regular basis as well as the access they have to opportunities and making decisions in the world around them. “Same shit, different century. I wish people like them would stop thinking people like me need saving” (Thomas 246). Change in regards to oppression and discrimination is nearly impossible if society fails to recognize they’re a present force. The Hate U Give gives a clear understanding of the subordinate and dominant relationships and how members of a society view them as well as how it truly feels to be a member of the subordinate group and suffer the consequences of being a subordinate. These relationships can lead to discrimination, not only in race but also with class and gender, even if it is “outside the consciousness of the individual” (Durkheim 1).
Although the book is written in the perspective of Starr Carter, there are valuable points throughout the reading when other perspectives are given that illustrate how there is most certainly a significant manipulation of society through discrimination and/or oppression through human behaviors and interactions. In a school where Starr is “Whites have developed a new, powerful ideology that justifies contemporary racial inequality and thus helps maintain ‘systemic white privilege’” (Rothenberg 114). The story tells the truths about how white individuals are cultivated to believe that they are not discriminatory and also the idea that white people are fair-minded in the treatment of others. Not only is this present in Starr’s live with the justice system and the racial tensions intertwined throughout her experience but also in her daily life with her peers in the school she attends. Two eye-opening moments in regards to color-blind racism that hit hard were both stated by a sixteen year-old white female. “You can say something racist and not be a racist” as well as “He was a drug dealer and a gangbanger, somebody was going to kill him anyways” (Thomas 112, 341). These moments allow the reader to feel the ache and the pain of a black individual in the midst of a the present times, where racism and performing “whiteness” are ignored and members of the subordinate groups of society are dehumanized.
The Hate U Give is a very compelling story that truly puts the reader in the shoes of a black girl existing in American society today with very relatable moments of truth, heartache, pain and love. The author allows the reader to put themselves in the shoes of an individual who struggles with racial inequality, sharing her voice, grief, friendship, addiction and how media in the 21st century portrays black individuals and societies. A light of truth is shed on the police violence that takes place and the layers underneath why the violence and the death of innocent people are happening so often. This text has a number of draw-dropping, tear-jerking moments that will leave the reader entranced in the life of a black female during a time where police violence and injustice is so common. Reflection is brought upon the reader in a way that allows for connections to his or her own biography, history, ideas, beliefs or positions in society. The social construction of racism is explored through two very different societies, yet the inequalities are interwoven through human actions, feelings and thoughts everywhere. Violence, discrimination and oppression are still occurring throughout the world today and nothing is going to change without the people who recognize that it is happening and change the culture, language and behaviors of those contributing. The story allows the reader to understand and feel the oppression and struggles that are involved in inequality, speaking out, heartbreak and so much more.