Film depicts racial injustice
by Emily Law
photo courtesy of imdb.com
Demonstrating the importance of using one’s voice to advocate for those they love and their own culture, “The Hate U Give” tells an inspirational story about a teenager’s capability of standing against police brutality within her community.
The film is set in a predominantly poor, African-American neighborhood where 7 year old Starr Carter is first introduced. She was being lectured by her father, Maverick Carter (Russell Hornsby), about the procedures to follow if she ever gets pulled over by the police – placing both hands on the dashboard and not to argue.
Despite the uneasy topic to be discussing with a child, this ensures her safety when that situation ever occurs. Maverick proceeds to reassure his kids that being African American is an honor, not something to be ashamed of.
The scene transitions to present day where Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) is 16 years old and attends a high school that does not consist of many students of color, but manages to fit in.
As shown in the movie trailer, Starr attends a party and reunites with her childhood friend, Khalil Harris (Algee Smith), who offered to take her home afterwards but was pulled over by a white police officer before doing so.
Starr was already taught on what to do in the situation, but Khalil was not being serious because he knew he did not do anything wrong. Because of his defiance towards the officer, he was told to step outside of his car while the officer checked his license.
While Starr was anxious, Khalil reached into the car window to ask if she was okay and proceeded to grab a comb. Before the officer could register what was in Khalil’s hand, he unhesitatingly shot three bullets aimed at his torso. Starr’s witness to the traumatic event rapidly altered her life.
Throughout the film, Starr tries to cope with her loss despite the protests that arose after. The peaceful protests that were initiated to promote the issue about police brutality quickly turned violent once the police became involved.
Her internal wrestling between whether to keep quiet or speak out about the issue throughout the movie results in the decision to publicly address her stance. Towards the end, Starr gains the courage to speak on behalf of her community regarding the racism that is ultimately neglected in a larger societal viewpoint.