The Hate U Give: Addressing Police Brutality and Inequality

The Hate U Give, directed by George Tillman Jr., is a film addressing police brutality and inequality among minorities in the United States, a topic that has swept social media this year. The eye-opening film is based on a New York Times 2017 best-selling novel written by Angie Thomas of the same name. 

The titles abbreviation spelling out T.H.U.G. inspired by Tupac Shakur’s tattoo “T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E.,” which stands for “The Hate U Gave Little Infants Fucks Everybody," is enough to catch your attention. Spoiler alert! You find out throughout the film exactly what this meant for Tupac. This is also the premise which the movie revolves around.

The film follows a teenage African American girl named Starr played by Amandla Stenberg, who lives in what appears to be two different worlds. Raised and brought up in a African American low-income neighborhood she attends a predominately white private school oozing with lavish lifestyles. When Starr flees a party with an old childhood friend, the story takes a bad turn; both are pulled over by a police officer who mistakenly shoots her friend Khalil Harrris, played by Algee Smith, right in front of her after mistaking a hairbrush for a weapon.

The film does not hold back, with moments that may be seen as exaggerated, others could see as everyday reality. A terrifying and eye-opening instance put under a magnify glass that highlights the lives of minorities born in America: obstacles that many face in this country day after day. 

The film provides an insight on modern day society were with social media things like racism, the mistreatment of people, and violence are exposed in seconds. This film forces an audience who can’t physically relate, to question their own bias and opinions on minority communities that they may have never noticed before.

It can be almost uncomfortable for those watching, because of how explicit these stories are. It puts the audience in the driver’s seat as you go through the pain, love and frustration of the assorted cast of characters. A daughter who struggles to fit into in between two worlds is also struggling to find a middle ground, while coping with a system that has now taken her third childhood friend. A mother who wants her children to grow from this world and let them blossom out while attempting to shield the chaos around. A father who wants his children to live to see another day while making sure they are proud of their blessing of being African American individuals. You see points of views that brought many in the theatres to tears.

This movie is used as a tool and educates its viewers on topics that many just have never understood or related too but also let’s the other viewers know they are not alone.