A&E

Reflection On The Hate U Give: A look into the movie that explores racial injustice

      On Wednesday October 31st, myself and my friend went to see one of the best movies out right now, “The Hate U Give.” I have been dying to see this movie for a while now, and I can honestly say that it was well worth the wait. The movie is about a young black teenager named Starr Carter who lives, like many teenagers, a double life. She resides in a predominantly Black neighborhood that is crime infested and impoverished in some ways, yet it still exudes Black excellence as there are Black-owned businesses. She acts one way while she’s at home, but when she goes to her mostly white school outside of town, she refers to herself as “Starr 2”. This version of Starr makes it a point to not use slang or to use the “n-word” around her white peers because she does not want them to think that it is okay for them to use it. She tries her best to keep these two vastly different words apart, but after witnessing her friend being shot and killed by a white officer, these two worlds begin spill into one another. Starr begins to see the true colors of everyone from her neighborhood and her school when she decides to testify against her friend’s murderer.

      This movie is incredible for a number of reasons, but what drew me in the most was the moment during the opening credits when the title of the movie came across the screen vertically, and I realized that it was an acronym! The title spelled  out the word T.H.U.G and I when I saw that, I was instantly intrigued to see how this would play out throughout the rest of the film. One of the two most powerful scenes in the film was when Starr was in the car with her friend Khalil and they are listening to a song by Tupac called T.H.U.G L.I.F.E. The acronym stands for, “The Hate U Give Little Infants F**ks Everybody.

      For me, what this means is that because America has been perpetuating  this cycle of extreme racism since the foundation of this country, children, and more specifically Black children, have been taking this into their system. If we keep feeding little black kids the idea that they are nothing but drug dealers and thugs, then that’s what they will grow up to be. It also should not be that Black children should have to grow up in fear of being shot by the police for something as innocent and free as walking down the street. If we keep feeding white children the notion that they are superior to other races, then we will continue to see the prevalence of ignorance.

      The acronym is brought up again towards the end of the movie (spoiler alert), where Starr’s younger brother is seen aiming his father’s gun at a gang member trying to kill their father. The cops pulled up and aimed their guns at the child, and at this point, I just broke down in tears because this is our reality. Cops are so quick to pull their guns out on Black people, and it is heartbreaking for me because it just makes me wonder: when is all this killing going to end? How many lives have to be stolen away from this earth in order for us to wake up? At the heart of racism is a sinful spirit that only Christ can cast out with His light and love. Are we willing to humble ourselves and let Him into our hearts and allow Him to heal what is broken?

      In the words of Starr Carter, “And that’s what I’m gonna do. Light up the darkness.”

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