The Hate U Give: A perfectly executed film telling the story of 16 year old Starr Carter finding her voice after experiencing a tragedy. Starr is a black girl from a predominantly poor, black neighborhood who is sent to an affluent private school, Williamson Prep, with a mostly white student body. At Williamson, Starr has a boyfriend named Chris and two best friends, Hailey and Maya, who are all white and somewhat unaware of Starr’s upbringing. On the weekends, Starr is immersed in her neighborhood’s social scene, which contrasts her school social scene completely. After an incident targeting a male black friend, her conflicting worlds collide and she and her neighborhood are forever changed.
It is impossible for my words to even begin to relay the significance of the events in this film. To summarize would only diminish the themes’ importance. If you asked me why you should see this film, I would not have a simple answer. When I left the theater, I was numb from the impact of the events that unfolded in the story. The film teaches yet does not preach. It was real in a way that required true empathy to understand the characters’ lives.
I am not naive enough to believe that everyone who sees this film will leave with the same message I left with. However, I am hopeful enough to believe that viewers will leave with the knowledge that everyone has their reasons for making choices, that human beings and their situations are complex and can cause results such as drug dealing, gang violence, and immense anger - factors all introduced in the film. Nothing in life is black and white.
The truth is, poor neighborhoods are targets for gangs, drugs and violence. Racial divides are strong, no matter individual’s economic positions, causing situations as harsh as racial profiling and death. The Hate U Give, though never solely blames one group of people, showcases these facts point blank.
Out of all of the themes portrayed throughout the movie and the book, the most valuable moral is gained simply by allowing yourself to walk in someone else's shoes. If you decide to understand another person’s situation, you can help to better the world. Learning truly is the cure for ignorance.
Editor's Note: The Highlander section features articles written for The Highlander, Gov. Livingston High School's student newspaper.