THE HATE U GIVE:
The Hate U Give, a recent book turned into film, entails a gruesome scene of one of the characters, Khalil, a young African-American teenager, being shot by a jittery white police officer who pulls them over and mistakes his hairbrush for a gun.
This book was written by a young African-American writer, Angie Thomas, who stated that her novel was inspired by Tupac Shakur; hence, the title of Thomas’ book: T= THE, H=HATE, U=YOU, G=GIVE= THUG.
Who would have known some twenty plus years after the murder of Tupac Shakur that a young female writer would have initiated a national conversation about race via another form of the written word about an issue that still plagues the African-American community?
Unfortunately, just as Tupac was silenced and blatantly disregarded by the white masses, Angie Thomas’s book was placed on the National Banned Book List, which is surprising because African-American writers only make up about ten percent of authors in the nation.
Based on research, several titles on The Banned Book List are written by minority writers who craft their characters and stories around discrimination and racism. In several school systems around the nation, parental permission must be granted prior to a student being able to access The Hate U Give.
This is surprising because we all can turn on the television, and scroll social media to see real-life police brutality happening in our own backyards. With this element of truth, is the continued censorship of African-American art, music, story-telling, and verbal expression new? What’s wrong with these methods of peaceful expression of our displeasure with a lack of justice and equality?
Is this an effort to conceal the truth about the police brutality and potential death encounters that our African-American children will possibly encounter in their near future and as young adults? How does help our students of color if we refuse to have the hard discussions?
Thankfully, the negative press turned positive, as Angie Thomas is one of the few minority writers, whose book was turned into a film. This of course, helped to get the message across to even more people in general.
We walked the hallways of Booker T. Washington to see what students feel about the real and uncomfortable issues that mirror their own circumstances. A small group session was assembled of the following students who read the book and watched the film.
These students spoke one by one about the negative encounters with police from personal