‘The Hate U Give’ Will Propel the Activist in All Teens


Antoinette Aho, Editor-in-Chief

Starr Carter has the mindset that every one of us should begin to seek to live morally in the present age. Whether it’s in the way she becomes an activist and supports a cause that she has experienced first-hand, her responsibility and patience, or even her skills when it comes to cooperating with others. Starr is the protagonist of the book, and film, The Hate U Give, written by Angie Thomas and directed by George Tillman Jr.  Set in the predominantly black neighbourhood of Garden Heights, the reader gains an insight on Starr’s life and the battles she faces. She’s living one life with two very different circumstances on the daily: her home and family community, and her school life at Williamson Prep which is in the nicer, and predominately white, part of her town. Starr gets to know what one could describe as opposite sides of the world, two groups of very different people, with different ideals and cultures.

The story begins when Starr experiences the death of her best, childhood friend, Khalil while driving home from a party. He was pulled over by a police officer and had adequately exited the car and obeyed the cop, properly driving to the side of the road, giving the officer no reason for concern. Starr sat in the car when the event happened, she witnessed the officer shoot Khalil three times after he leaned into the car to ask Starr if she was ok. The cop’s actions make it clear to say that assumptions were made, from the fact that the Khalil was black, and since it was late at night.

This has happened in a fictional book, but it has also occurred in the real world as well. Too many times for it to be considered an accidental, wrong, in the moment situation, especially when one considers the number of shots fired. Multiple cases like Khalil’s have taken over the news in the past year, from Botham Jean to the recent Jason Van Dyke, 138 black people have been shot in 2018, out of 756 people overall. 132 of them were black men, making 6 of them women, 77 of them were armed, 12 were not, and many had other weapons with them, had mental illnesses, were in cars, etc. (according to the Washington Post’s Fatal Force statistics).

Now, there’s no denying the fact that officers cannot be sure of the situation in which they are approaching, for it’s no simple job, but why must there be a paradigm towards people of color? History is to be blamed for this, and the influx of recent cases merely propel this negative outlook. Officers should be able to take the precautions they need to, but why was Khalil shot three times? Just as Philando Castile and Tony Robinson were, the first victim was pulled over for a broken taillight, he was carrying a gun (with a permit), and was shot twice in the heart for no apparent reason. Tony Robinson was an unarmed 19-year-old, shot seven times after allegedly attacking the officer. Hundreds of cases like these have occurred, and yes, some of them were righteous and handled adequately by the officer. But, the issue occurs when the police have a negative paradigm towards people of colour, specifically the black population.

The Hate U Give is a prime representation of the low standard and degradation that minorities in our society face. The novel works to spread awareness in a way that is raw, believable and written in an unforgettable manner.