The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This book is fiction with a very real feel of actual life. In this book, a 16-year-old girl, Starr, growing up in a rough area, starts to understand the difference between her and “others”. She is poor. She is black. She is considered the “other” by the rich with lighter complexioned. Her story switches between a coming-of-age tale and the real struggle for racial equality seen since the civil rights movement. She plays witness to a harrowing event and experiences loss on multiple levels. But still, she rises, like “roses that grow in the concrete” (Thanks, Tupac). She learns what it truly means to stand up for what is right, and not to turn away from adversity.
Thank you, Angie Thomas. Thank you for giving us, readers, a hero that is so realistic. It feels as though she is appearing before us right out of the pages. I loved this book for more reasons than I can count, but namely for creating a stepping stone of racial diversity in fiction. Angie Thomas gave me a protagonist I truly relate to. I saw a bit of myself in Starr. Like her, I wasn’t quite black enough for the black kids, and not quite white enough for the white kids. I was the token black kid at my school. I was also prone to being stereotyped and judged for skin color over my personality.
This book resonated deeply with me. In the wake of Black Lives Matter, a still very current movement, The Hate U Give reflects on racial inequality in a true to life manner. Whatever is not being spoken in real life, is definitely being spoken in the lines of this riveting book. I am also thankful for the way this book pays homage to the greatest rapper of all time, Tupac, and translates his infamous songs into a statement that effectively defines the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Hate U Give paints a distinct view of people of color, the oppressed, the castaways, those who are considered low on the totem pole. They were born into a system created so tightly wound that there is nothing they can do but feel rage and anger, thus creating an excuse for the oppressors to beat them down, put them in-line, and keeping them from speaking out.
The Hate U Give should be a book of its own genre leading by a truth, an understanding that there is something immensely wrong in America when it comes to race politics, and racial equality. It points out through painful events that are reminiscent of reality that there is no true racial equality in this country. The Hate U Give screams a protest to the systematic oppression. It is a book that inspires all those that are being oppressed to stand up and refuse to give in to a system that is against them.
I rate The Hate U Give 9/10 stars, only because I wish that there was more to this phenomenal story of Starr and her family. I hope that Angie Thomas creates more true to life stories and continues to be an advocate for racial equality.