“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.” ― Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give is the captivating story of Starr, a black teenage girl living in two polar-opposite worlds: Garden Heights, the “ghetto” she resides with her tight-knit family, and Williamson, the private, white-majority suburban prep school she attends. Although she endeavors to keep her two selves separate, making sure not to sound too “white” around her black friends while filtering out anything that would make her appear “hood” to her school friends, her two realms inevitably clash when she witnesses the deadly shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalid, by a white police officer.
First-time novelist, Angie Thomas, does a phenomenal job of putting the reader in the mind of a teenager as she struggles to process the events and figure out her role in getting justice for her friend, all while coming to terms with her identity. The moment you start reading the book, you become Starr, and Khalid and others like him become more than an image or headline on your news feed. While the book deals with heavy topics, including racial profiling, gun violence, gangs, as well as political activism, it is interspersed with humor and even had me laughing out loud.
I think the book would make a great movie, and guess what? It’s currently in development!