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embRACE members see “The Hate U Give”

Kaleigh Tazioli

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Last Friday, the embRACE club took a trip with Ms. Lyons’ English class to see the movie The Hate U Give which was based off a book written by Angie Thomas. I had never read the book, and neither had my friends, so I didn’t really know what to expect. All I knew (or thought I knew) about the movie/book is that it was about a teenage girl, Starr, who goes to a party one night and her friend named Khalil (who is a young black man) gets murdered by a white police officer who pulls them over for seemingly no reason. I walked into the theater with an open mind, and left with so much more knowledge and motivation than when I entered.

This movie is one of the few I think everyone should see at least once in their lives. The Hate U Give, which has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, may be fiction, but it’s as real as any other documentary. That’s what hits the hardest about this movie. Watching what Starr had to go through as a young black woman, hearing what people said to her, how people treated her really opened my eyes even more to what people of color (POC) in America have to go through. My friends felt the same way. By the end of the movie, we were all wiping our tears away and were even more motivated to change the world.

The main focus of this movie is police brutality and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. At first, Starr struggles to stand up and speak about what she witnessed that night. She wanted it all to disappear and return to her normal life. But then a woman named April Ofrah, a social activist, approaches Starr and tells her she needs to be Khalil’s voice. After debating it for some time, she finally stands up and speaks out. She becomes Khalil’s voice, and says the things he’ll never get a chance to say anymore.

Another important part of the movie was about gang violence. Starr’s father, Maverick (or ‘Big Mav’), was a part of a gang before going to prison. Getting locked up had inspired him to leave the gang system, but that didn’t mean he would be free from the harm of other gangs. At one point in the movie, Starr’s brother Seven gets beat up by one of the biggest gangbangers in the town named King. King threatens Starr and her family many times into scaring them to stay away from the police. But once King sets fire to Mavericks store, the whole neighborhood goes against him and turns him into the police.

Lastly, another very important part of the movie was that Starr had to live her life with basically two identities before Khalil was murdered. Starr and her brother Seven went to a school that was out of the way from their town because their parents wanted the ‘best life’ for them. The school that they went to was in a richer and predominantly white town. Because of this, Starr felt like she had to act a certain way to gain approval from her peers. She explained how she couldn’t be who she really was because then people may label her as ‘too ghetto’ but then when white kids act the same way, it’s considered cool. This is another huge double standard issue happening, and it’s very true.

There are many other very important points in the movie, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it too much. Like stated before, this is a movie I think people of all ages, races, genders, etc. should see. It opens your eyes to a different perspective of things and it shows that this stuff really happens in the real life.

“Once upon a time, there was a hazel-eyed boy with dimples. I called him Khalil. The world called him a thug. He lived, but not nearly long enough, and for the rest of my life I’ll remember how he died. Fairy tale? No. But I’m not giving up on a better ending.” – Starr Carter, The Hate U Give

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embRACE members see “The Hate U Give”