A crucial read and watch during Black History Month: The Hate U Give

Source: Goodreads

Source: Goodreads

Sana Muneer, Editor in Chief

February is Black History Month and is the perfect time to diversify your bookshelf. 

It is vital to consume literature written by and about African Americans. This month is a perfect time to do just that. It may be overwhelming to pick a book while browsing hundreds of inspiring novels by incredible Black authors. Here is one must-read during this important month: The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas’s debut novel, The Hate U Give, is a powerful, unforgettable novel that has remained on the New York Times bestseller list since 2017. The book focuses on the struggle for justice after the fatal shooting of an unarmed African American boy by a white police officer. 

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this novel centers around Starr Carter, who balances life between the poor neighborhood she resides in and the esteemed prep school she attends. The tightrope she is living between these opposing worlds is fractured after Starr witnesses the death of her best friend Khalil, by a police officer, despite no crime committed. The Black community of Starr’s town erupts in protests to defend Khalil’s name, while those outside his African American community berate him.

Starr is fearful to speak out, yet furious that Khalil’s murderer could evade justice. But, as the only person who can testify to the actual facts of that fateful night, she has no choice. Starr is at a crossroads: what she does or does not say could endanger her and her family’s lives. By telling the truth, she could put her innocent family in danger, but by staying silent, justice for Khalil will not be served. 

Books covering these sensitive topics of racism and social justice need to be consumed by both teenagers and adults. They encourage strength in the face of adversity while educating readers on crucial, relevant topics. In addition to Thomas crafting a book with beautiful descriptions and storytelling, readers will leave this novel with a new perspective of the complex world around them. 

 I was primarily captivated by the main character, Starr. She is an inspiration to girls who yearn to find their own voice. She carries an incredible amount of resilience, bravery and fearlessness throughout the story, and is a role model to girls all over. Starr is an excellent example of an adolescent who feels her voice doesn’t matter. However, throughout the novel, she recognizes the importance of making herself heard, regardless of the grim consequences.

In just one year after this bestselling book debuted, it was adapted into a critically acclaimed film in late 2018 and featured 19-year-old Amandla Stenberg as Starr. The film received a myriad of praise and reached an even broader audience due to the Black Lives Matter movement. Fans may recognize Amandla Stenberg from The Hunger Games movie in 2012.

Source: IMDb

I saw the movie in theaters and I was captivated by the raw emotion included in the film. Though this was years ago, I clearly remember every member of the audience laughing, crying, gasping, and cheering during the entirety of the movie.

The Hate U Give is a powerful read and film that is essential to today’s world. I highly recommend this novel and its film.