The Hate U Give: A Powerful Novel Inspired by Black Lives Matter

Redaksi PetiknetSaturday, 9 December 2023 | 13:56 WIB
The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give

Starr returns to Williamson Prep, an elite private school where she is one of the few black students. She tries to act normal and hide her emotions, as she does not want to be seen as the “angry black girl” or the “poor black girl” by her classmates and teachers.

She has two best friends, Maya and Hailey, who are Asian and white respectively, and a white boyfriend, Chris, who she has been dating for over a year. However, she feels like she has to be a different person at school than at home, and she calls this phenomenon “code-switching”.

Starr learns that the police officer who killed Khalil is named Brian Cruise Jr., and that he has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. She also sees the news reports that claim that Khalil was a suspected drug dealer and a gang member, and that he may have provoked the officer.

Starr is outraged by these lies, but she is afraid to speak up and reveal herself as the witness. She is also conflicted about whether to tell her friends and Chris about what happened, as she fears that they will not understand or support her.

Starr attends Khalil’s funeral, where she sees his family and friends, as well as members of the local gang, the King Lords, who run the drug trade in Garden Heights. The leader of the King Lords is King, who is also the father of Seven’s half-sister, Kenya.

King has a history of abusing and exploiting Khalil and his mother, Brenda, who is addicted to drugs. Starr also meets April Ofrah, a lawyer and activist who works for Just Us for Justice, an organization that fights for the rights of black people. April encourages Starr to speak out about Khalil’s death and to join the movement for change.

Starr gradually opens up to her family and friends about her experience. She tells Chris, who is supportive and understanding, and Maya, who is sympathetic and helpful. She also confronts Hailey, who is insensitive and racist, and who unfollows Starr on Tumblr after Starr posts a picture of Emmett Till, a black boy who was lynched in 1955.