“The Hate U Give”: An Unforgettable Story of Resilience and Activism

Angie Ybarra, Writer

Living in one world is hard enough, but living between two worlds is nearly impossible.

“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas tells the story of living in two worlds simultaneously and trying to fit into both. Mix in the fact that the main character, Starr Carter, is a young African American teenager who is dating a rich white boy named Chris, a student-athlete at a private school on the other side of town and you have enough to set the scene on fire.

The book falls under the Young Adult (YA) category, yet it deals with many issues that even an adult would find hard to deal with. The conviction of character that Starr possesses as well as her desire to be the friend she felt she should have been.

At a house party, Starr is trying to fit in when thankfully a lifelong friend appears; Khalil.  Their reconnection is interrupted by gunfire. Khalil saves Starr, leading her out of the party to a quick getaway in his car. The two old friends reminisce, share a tender moment, and even play with the idea of what the future holds but that all comes to a tragic end in a split second.

This story deals with systemic racism, life in “the Hood”, and what parents have to teach their children to do just to survive in their neighborhood. The reader is given a glimpse of what it means to be a true ally. White fragility is touched up, and stereotypes are perpetuated by people that are supposed to be Starr’s friends and even family members who skirt the lines. This story is not just a unique look at a life that some of us can not understand but how some have to find a way to survive, which is still not enough.

This writer suggests that you read the book before seeing the movie. The book gives specific examples of events that alter the lives of many characters which are only touched upon in the movie. I give this book and its author a round of applause for its frankness, honesty, and sometimes heartbreaking look at the differences between black and white.