“When you ready to talk, you talk. Don’t ever let anyone make you be quiet.” – The Hate U Give
A voice is gift that everyone has, but seldom choose to use in the fight for justice. In the highly anticipated movie, “The Hate U Give,”Angie Thomas (author) and George Tillman (director) visually and powerfully project police brutality and the fight for justice. They depict this story through the perspective of the main character, Starr, who brutally witnesses the murder of her best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer.
The movie begins with Starr acknowledging that she is Black in America and the duality that inevitably comes along with it. She does this by referring to herself as Starr 2.0 as she leaves her neighborhood of Garden Heights and enters the foreign land of Willamson Preparatory, a predominately white private school. In the movie, Starr emphasizes having to code switch in order to be the acceptable black girl, so her peers will not view her as the “poor black girl of Garden Heights”.
As the movie continues, Starr’s childhood best friend, Khalil, is introduced. As what seemed to be a normal drive home between the two characters, it quickly turned into a police traffic stop resulting in the unlawful murder of Khalil due to him reaching for his hairbrush that the police officer “mistakenly” saw as a weapon.
In the scenes that followed, Starr is stuck between speaking up for Khalil and advocating for murder charges against the police officer or staying silent due to fear of backlash, threats, and death. At first Starr chose to be silent. It was not until she became fully aware that the injustices faced by black people daily is unacceptable and needs to be changed. The anger, grief, and sadness that boiled inside of Starr exploded provoking her to come forward and speak up about the injustice of Khalil’s death and the dehumanizing treatment of “black people, poor people, and everyone at the bottom”.
“The Hate U Give” is an exceptional and outstanding movie. This movie is relevant to the current state of the nation in regard to the controversial, unjustifiable deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, and others. This movie is so powerful that it raises and heightens emotions as if you witnessed Khalil’s death and participated in the dangerous protests yourself. The movie did an amazing job with the accuracy and depiction of police brutality and the protests of the Black Lives Matter organization which was represented as “Just Us, For Justice.”
Black, white, rich, or poor, it is our vocation as humans to establish humanity within society. Society has a serious issue with dehumanization and supremacy of races that are not of white purity. Inevitably, that cycle of oppression affects everyone. It is not until we use our voices to bring awareness to this dehumanizing and disgusting ideology and combat it with action do we see true and everlasting change. Until that happens, as profoundly said by Starr, that only leaves us with…
“The Hate WE Give”