I recently watched a movie called “The Hate U Give”. It is based on a book written by Angie Thomas, and was directed by George Tillman Jr. The movie is based on a teenage African-American girl named Starr, living in a minority community, but going to an all-white school. She is struggling to find a balance between the girl she presents to her white friends, and who she really is on the inside. At the beginning of the movie, the topic of police brutality is brought to light. It gets increasingly harder to pretend that she is okay at school, when her home life and community is ripped to shreds after a hateful act of gun violence. She also must face the internal struggles of her neighborhood such as violence, drugs, and gangs.
Throughout the movie, tough subjects that are extremely relevant today are discussed in a way that is informative, yet brutally honest. I saw this movie with a diverse group of friends, and it was interesting to see how everyone reacted and how different each of our circumstances were. At the beginning of the movie, there is a scene where the African-American father sits down with his kids to talk about police. The kids are not older than 7 or 8. He explains to them that if a police officer tells them to do something, they do it, no questions asked, even if they know they didn’t do anything wrong. Growing up, I never had to worry about that, and I have never been in a position where I was told to fear the police. I can never relate to that, because I am white. No child should have to fear the police. No one should be afraid of getting shot when they have not done anything wrong.
At the end of the movie, Starr realizes that she must use her voice to speak for those that can no longer speak. She finds out who her true friends are, and no longer lives two separate lives. She also reveals something about herself that is a shock to the people in her community, and around the world.
Overall, this movie is a must see. It addresses relevant topics that America is currently struggling with, and provides a new perspective to those who are not directly targeted by police brutality. It shows the realities of growing up in a tough neighborhood, and a girl’s journey through high school, as well as the process of grieving and moving forward.
I live in St. Louis, Missouri and I was in seventh grade when Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer, only twenty minutes from my house. My city knows this story as well as any. We lived it. The protests, the sadness, and the trust that had to be rebuilt between the police force and the community. I cannot even begin to imagine how different, how much harder my life would be if I had been born into different skin and I try as often as I can to help others recognize their privilege too.