I was ignorant and now I am awake. That is what happens after reading this book.
The Hate U Give should be required reading for anyone living in this country.
However, it should absolutely be required reading for:
Most people believe that they are not racist. This book exposes that racism exists both overtly and in subtle ways, of which people are mostly unaware. It exposes the racism in all of us.
More than anything, The Hate U Give teaches the dangers of dehumanizing people; of lumping people into groups and considering them less-than.
It shines a light on how little we understand the lives of people outside of our own tax brackets. Rich and poor alike.
When 16 year old Starr Carter witnesses the unprovoked killing of her life-long friend, Khalil Harris, her eyes are opened to the hate, fear, and prejudice that fuels the actions of some members of Law Enforcement.
Starr knows that, as a black young woman, she has to have many identities.
She is one of the few people of color in a predominantly white prep-school.
She is only known as "Big Mav's Daughter" in her neighborhood because she doesn't attend the public school.
At school, she tries not to act "ghetto" (her word, not mine) around her friends who come from wealth, privilege, and security. At home, she tries not to act "other" with her neighbors who not only have to deal with gang violence, poverty, and drug dealers, but who lift one another up and provide for one another when times are tough.
She was taught, at a young age, that there are different rules for black people and white people when dealing with the police. Her parents always taught her to do whatever the police tell her to do, to keep her hands up and away from her pockets, to speak with respect, not to make any sudden movements. They taught her that, to not follow these rules can mean the difference between life and death for a black person in America.
Her friend Khalil did not follow these rules:
Kahlil was shot in the back three times by a police officer.
His only offense was having a burnt tail light.
Khalil was unarmed.
Khalil was 16.
Starr was the only witness.
The Hate U Give teaches us about "our greatest weapon"- our voices. Starr learns that the best way to honor Khalil is to speak. Although we may think our voices are not being heard, we must keep speaking, especially in the face of injustice.
This book will open your eyes. It will make you feel. Hopefully, it will change the way you think about people. Black, white, rich, poor- it will shatter your preconceived notions.
Review by Mrs. Sanborn
Jaime Sanborn's Book Reviews by Jaime Ann Sanborn, MLIS, SLMS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://jfsanborn.blogspot.com.