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The Hate U Give A Movie review

“The Hate U Give,” a film directed by George Tillman Jr., hit public theaters with a boom on Oct. 5, 2018. The movie showcased many increasingly relevant issues, especially now — an era in need of social change. Police violence is an issue that plays a significant role in this movie. According to Mapping Police Violence, a website that collects data on police killings nationwide and quantifies their impact on communities, the U.S. in 2017, had 1,147 people killed by police officers, of which 25 percent were black, despite only being 13 percent of the population.

One of many statistics found on the Mapping Police Violence website.

These issues can be summarized with just one word — credited to Tupac Shakur: T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. The. Hate. U. Give. Little. Infants. Fucks. Everyone. The movie is based on the book written by Angie Thomas, who was inspired by Tupac’s thug life message.

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it's dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.” –Quote from The Rose That Grew from Concrete a book by Tupac Shakur.

This quote along with the T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. quote inspired Angie Thomas the author to write "The Hate U Give" novel.

The director takes the audience through the movie from the perspective of a black girl, Starr Carter, played by Amandla Stenberg. The movie starts with Starr and her brothers, Seven and Sekani, at a young age getting the talk from their dad, Maverick Carter. What to do when you get pulled over by a cop. Notice that it is when they get pulled over and not if, something Maverick emphasized.

Maverick was also very intentional with Starr’s and her brothers’ names. "Something that's so beautiful about black culture is that we give our children power in their names," Stenberg said in an interview with NPR. "My name actually means 'power' in Zulu and Xhosa. It was something that my mom was very intentional with. I think we recognize that it's a tough world out there, and so we give our children names that they can use as superpowers."

The movie then takes us to Starr in her teenage years, leading a life code-switching between two different worlds: one version of herself at the majority white prep school she attends and another version of herself in the black neighborhood she calls home.

"Reading the book became this strange, spiritual thing because it started to feel like I was reading my own diary," Stenberg said, mentioning how she lead a similar life code-switching.

"Reading the book became this strange, spiritual thing because it started to feel like I was reading my own diary," Stenberg said in an interview with NPR, mentioning how she lead a similar life code-switching.

Starr tries to keep the two worlds separate, but they both come crashing together after she bears witness to police brutality. Her childhood friend, Khalil, is shot and killed by a white male police officer while Starr sits in the passenger seat. He was shot for holding a hairbrush.

While the black community protested his death, Starr had to simultaneously go watch her white classmates take advantage of his death and skip school to “protest.” The director made sure to include various views into the movie, from her white school friends to her Uncle Carlos, a black cop. However, her dad, Maverick, influenced her the most. He taught her The Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program and told her to use her voice to make a change.

After Khalil’s murder, there was a fork in the road ahead for Starr. She needed to make a decision between preserving her reputation and speaking up for her childhood friend. It was clear what her dad wanted her to do but the decision was up to her; will she stay quiet or speak against police brutality.

The urgency to address police brutality brought up by the movie is ever impending. It’s our generation that needs to stand up and make a difference. Students shouldn’t take advantage of the cause and skip school. It has to be for the right reasons. It has to be a passionate and united fight — the fight to stop T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E.. In the end, the movie perfectly depicts a powerful message.

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