As the sole witness, Starr, is faced with the killing by cop of her best friend Khalil and pressured into giving a statement of what had occured that dreadful night. If that wasn’t enough she then faces a jury to testify under Khalil’s behave. This starts the beginning where both her worlds begin to fall apart, for years her parents have sent her to a wealthy, white populated private school but has come home to the hood, a place she’s always known and loved. Her family, Big Mav, a former gang member whose only trying to change his hood and a loving mother whose trying to get out for the sake of her family, have always fought about what is best for the family.. The book title itself derives from a famous quote Tupac always repped, THUG LIFE, known also as The Hate U Give Little Infants F***s Everybody, meaning that whatever society chooses to give the youth it comes back and bites them back, prompting a wild youth with troubled lives that ultimately sets up the book itself.
Life has a weird way of working, either you’re born into riches or you fight for it, sometimes even die trying. The Hate U Give is another take into the society that we, the youth, live in today. Taking two perspectives from that of a rich life to those of the everyday hood one, both only trying to get a better life with different types of struggles. The perfect, white skinned, wealthy American Dream that has been already achieved by those of Starrs school is heavily contradicted to the life she lives at the hood, where every kid is a gang banger, drug dealer, with a casket awaiting them till they slip up, wanting to make it out but are stuck due to the system that’s made to keep them down, “Devante, Khalil. Neither of them had much of a choice. If I were them, I’m not sure I’d make a much better one.” (239) Through the beginning of the novel, Starr is faced with confusion and anger that her best friend, Khalil, got involved into selling narcotics only to finally understand his decisions through DeVante, another well described thug. Khalil had no other choice then to begin selling due to the addiction his mother faces, he needed some way to to help pay the bills, food, and other expensive. Many today facing the exact problems throughout our country, choosing between warm water or lights in there household making us wonder how many more of our brothers and sisters have to fall victims to our system for change to be brought upon our communities due to the lack of help.
Everyone has a different type of American experienced but as we may see now a days that is starting to change. The character of Khalil, is a depiction of every falsely accused, falsely convicted, impulsed killed, black man. Races are beginning to be categorized into one group again and made to believe that there life is worth less due to the color of skin they were born with, “‘Everybody wants to talk about how Khalil died,’ I say. ‘But this isn’t about how Khalil died. It’s about the fact that he lived. His life mattered. Khalil lived!’ I look at the cops again. ‘You hear me? Khalil lived!’” (412) As a whole community we get buried in the way someone has died but forget to acknowledge that they lived, they had a family, they had a life, a future. Most importantly that those who’ve fallen should not be seen as another statistic but as a human being that wanted to do so much more with there life than what they were given showing that the unwillingness of categorization and dehumanizing races leads to death and violence at the hands of those with authority.
Although The Hate U Give has some cringe worthy moments and tried too hard to connect with the youth of today the overview of what speaking up for those who can’t do so anymore has a huge impact on our american experience. In this moment in time everyone, whether, white,black, asian, need to come together to fight for justice, if not then we let those who want to oppress us win causing a shift in the diverse, free, and opportunist America that we know and love.
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