This book, along with so many others, needs to be read by everyone in the book community. Hell, even the non-book community. The fact that this book isn’t more widely talked about disappoints me because it talks about so many powerful topics, ones that are often pushed to the side and never discussed. The Hate U Give follows Starr, a black girl who lives in Garden Heights and is faced with the reality of seeing two of her best friends shot. Starr is so much more than a token black girl, she is a star, and her choices and words throughout this book prove that.
While I am not one that you should be turning to for advice or education on the Black Lives Matter movement, I do want to show my support in many ways. Talking about this book is just one of the many ways I have continued to educate myself and the people around me on the awful things that happen to the black community in our world today. One thing that really upset me about this book was that it was published in 2017… 3 years later all of the topics in this book are still extremely relevant if not more. Why has nothing changed?
“The truth casts a shadow over the kitchen – people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.”
The Hate U Give talks so much about injustice towards the black community, police brutality, interracial relationships, racism amongst young and old, and violence. While this book was hard to read, it was really eye-opening as a reader to see these things happen from the point of view of the person of colour. You get an inside look of how Starr reacts and handles her best friend being shot by a police officer, you are with her before, after, and during the awful events that took Khalil’s life. You are also with her as she struggles to find her place and realize she has such a powerful voice. So many people have gone through what Starr went through, and I want to support them like Chris supports Starr. Starr’s parents are amazing role models who have taught their children to stand up for what they believe in, and also to support their community. So often it is easy to stand by as these brutal events are happening, but we need to support each other, especially the minorities.
This book also shows the terrible sides of blatant racism from Hailey, one of Starr’s friends. She is a character who proves that white privilege is still very much a thing. Not only is she racist towards Starr but also their friend Maya who is Chinese. Both of these young girls had to deal with racism first hand at school, and it was amazing to finally see them stand up for themselves against a bully like Hailey.
There is so much I could talk about with this book, but honestly you just need to read it. Continue to educate yourself on the Black Lives Matter movement, and do anything you can to support the black community.
“Oh, we know the truth, that’s not what we want,” says Daddy. “We want justice.”