The Hate U Give Review and Reflection

Casey Bakarani ‘22

“The Hate U Give Little Infants F–ks Everybody; meaning what you feed us as seeds grow and blow up in your face. That’s THUG LIFE.” The movie is centralized around racially sensitive topics and this quote is a reflection of the events that occur throughout the movie relating to the hate that is placed on to black people.

The Hate U Give movie, directed by George Tillman Jr. and based on the book by Angie Thomas, came out on October 5th, 2018. The movie is about Starr Carter, a black sixteen-year-old girl from a fictional town called Garden Heights. She talks about having to live two lives: there is “Williamson Starr”, who attends the prestigious prep school, and who does not give anyone a reason to call her “ghetto” and then there is “Starr Starr” who is who she is at home in Garden Heights, who she is on the weekends. One weekend she is at a party with her friend Khalil when a gunshot goes off. Concerned, her friend Khalil drives her home. However, on their way back they get pulled over by a white police officer who tells Khalil to get out of the car. Khalil notices that Starr is scared and looks in to ask if she is okay and grabs a hairbrush. Starr hears the police yell “DROP THE WEAPON!” followed by a ringing gunshot. The next instant, the viewer sees Khalil collapse on the ground bleeding followed by Starr rushing out to him.

Khalil’s death becomes another nationwide news story that has everyone talking; Starr was the only witness at the scene besides officer 115 who shot and killed Khalil. Khalil’s death affected Starr in many ways because when they were younger they had a friend named Natasha who was shot in a driveby and Starr witnessed this happen and the three of them were really close to having her being the only one who is still alive really hit her hard. This movie is about how a young black girl faces a situation that has become all too common in today’s world. The struggle of remaining true to who you are, where you come from, what you believe in, and speaking up when faced with injustice are all topics that fill this gut-wrenching, thought-provoking movie.

I watched this movie on October 20th on one of the movie trips. I had previously read the book several times before because of the issues it explored. Although these issues are not new, I found that the author, Tomas, talked about them in a novel and provoking way. I have never personally lived in an area similar to that of Starr’s or had to deal with gang violence. However, the topic and issue of police brutality and racial profiling is an issue that I feel almost all black people of this country can relate to. Being pulled over by the colorful light sirens behind you should not be a trigger to place your hands on the dashboard, remain still, only talk when spoken to, all to avoid giving them any reason to think that you are a threat.

These are things that black children are being talked to about with their parents, and it’s all because of the people who think that a black person in front of them must be a criminal, drug dealer, or a part of a gang. Police officers never ask questions first. Instead, they shoot and ask the questions later when they are able to manipulate the situation and make it seem like they were the true victim and the black person was the perpetrator when all that person was holding was a hairbrush, a phone, or a toy gun. They were trying to get into their house because they had forgotten their keys. Shopping for groceries at their local supermarket. Playing at a damn playground. So why were they shot instead of that white kid over there doing the exact same thing? They were shot at for doing all of these things for being BLACK. Although slavery or segregation have been abolished, racial prejudice and inequality still exist—no one can say that black people are equal to whites. Not when innocent children and kids are being killed just because of what they look like. Not when the people who shot them can walk free, keep their jobs, and not have to suffer.

Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sam Dubose, Terence Crutcher, Jamar Clark, Walter Scott, Eric Harris, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Eric Garner, Philando Castile. These are the names of some of the very few of the men, brothers, fathers, sons, uncles, and nephews who were gone too early. Gone because of the hatred and intolerance that has ridden this nation for too long. The Hate U Give is able to capture the true impact this hatred and intolerance have on a community. I would recommend this movie to everyone no matter who you are or what your beliefs are. This movie is incredibly moving and will open your eyes and minds to issues you have heard about but not witnessed, and allow you to feel the cruel impact of hate in our modern society.