What’s the point of having a voice if you’re going to be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?
The Hate U Give by Angie follows sixteen year old Starr as she struggles with the double life of being “Big Mav’s daughter who works in the store,” in her Black community while also attending a mostly-white suburban high school. However, things change when her best friend Khalil is shot and murdered by a White police officer. Being the only witness to the fatal shooting, Starr now struggles with the decision to protect herself and her family by staying silent or to speak out and demand justice for, not only Khalil, but for the thousands of others.
The horrific incidents which take place in this novel, sadly, didn’t come as a shock to me. I am well aware of the discrimination and racism towards Black and other people of colour in every aspect of their life. I am well aware of the institutional and systemic racism which results in police brutality, particularly in America. However, this book hit me so hard as if I was learning all of this for the first time. Yes, this is a piece of fiction. But it is rooted in the very real injustice and discrimination in our society. Angie Thomas speaks of the happenings in her own life which inspired her to write this and her other novels. She hopes that the readers will share the stories, not just of Starr and Khalil, but of people like Emmett Louis Till, Trayvon Martin, Stephen Lawrence, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor…
I wish i had read this sooner. I encourage everyone who can, to read this book and share the stories they learn from it.