'The Hate U Give' Trailer Highlights Police Brutality & This Can Help Refuel Your Activism

After the trailer dropped for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before last week, it’s clear that 2018 is the year for iconic books to be transmuted into movies, and the upcoming The Hate U Give film is no exception. On Sunday, 20th Century Fox released the first trailer for The Hate U Give, and we can’t wait to see the critical book come to life in theaters.

The novel, by Angie Thomas which kick-started its literary success as the number one book on the The New York Times’ best-seller list, follows a teenage girl who watches a police officer fatally shoot her best friend. It makes necessary commentary on the all too common police-inflicted deaths, which often discriminately target people of color. The trailer brings back all the vulnerable emotions that we felt when we first read The Hate U Give, and it opens to Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) as she navigates the duality of her polarizing day-to-day life, living in a poorer neighborhood and attending school in a privileged preparatory school. Somehow, the trailer manages to break us all over again as it quickly cuts to the tragically iconic scene in the novel, where a police officer shoots and kills Khalil (Algee Smith) as he was reaching for a brush.

Beyond the initial death of Khalil, the movie (like the book) follows Starr’s journey to find and use her own voice within the Black Lives Matter movement. Vanity Fair notes that Angie Thomas was initially influenced to write her novel after Oscar Grant’s death in 2009, and she continued to write her novel after other unarmed black men, such as Tamir Rice and Mike Brown, were fatally shot by police officers.

We’re beyond ecstatic to see Thomas’ vital novel come to life on film, because it can lend to empower other young peoples to use their voices to make a positive change. However, nobody is more excited to see this novel-turned-movie hit theaters than Thomas herself.

“I'm a black girl from Mississippi who sometimes didn't have lights. Sometimes my family was on welfare. I'm straight from the hood, no ifs, ands, or buts about it," the author tweeted. "The trailer just dropped for a movie based on a book I wrote. Nothing is impossible.” It should go without saying how crucial it is for a novel, written by a black woman, to be reimagined into a film. Nonetheless, the fact that the production will focus on activism is critical for future change and showing young people that spoken and written word can efficiently help drive that change.

Ultimately, Thomas’ novel also helped show activists that there is a multitude of ways to productively contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. And seeing a glimpse of Starr’s story in the trailer might help you regain some of your activism momentum of a necessary hiatus.

The Hate U Give will make its way to theaters on October 19.