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Original photo by Ayana Takahara
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What The Hate U Give Has Taught Me

This year, there were many incidents of police brutality going viral and awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement has risen a lot throughout the world. 

When I was in high school, I spent a year in the United States as an exchange student. It is sad to see such tragedies happening in my favorite country. As I saw my friends support the movement and stand up for the black community, I wanted to do something for them as well. 

Although there are protests going around in the world and many are speaking up, a lot of my friends in Japan didn’t even know about the movement and were absolutely unaware of what was happening in the world. It is pretty natural since the Japanese media broadcasted the movement quite late. Moreover, I think many Japanese could not relate to it.

I wanted to take an initiative for those who didn’t know about the movement, so I started to share news, videos, and pictures about the BLM on my Instagram story. It was good to hear that some of my friends actually started to reflect and learn about the BLM after seeing my posts. 

However, those videos and pictures on social media don’t show the picture of the events and can often lead to misunderstandings. Limited perspectives of the media can result in various interpretations that are often incorrect. The fewer perspectives are given, the harder it is to understand the situation fully. Also, it is even difficult for me to fully comprehend the circumstances and feelings of those who are being oppressed. 

So, I decided to read The Hate U Give, which had caught my eye a long time ago. And I took the opportunity of summer reading to get started in this.

 

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This story is based on the actual BLM movement and shows a whole picture about discriminations, protests, and riots that we see on the news or on social media. The book helped me realize how the society is based on discrimination and how I was unconsciously biased as well. 

What I learned from this book was the importance of seeing and learning the issues from the perspective of someone who is in the middle of it. I thought that you have to put yourself in the shoes of the people suffering in order to actually understand the problems. Also, reading books or watching movies about racial discrimination can be helpful to better understand different perspectives.  

I really enjoyed reading this book and learning about the Black Lives Matter Movement deeply. I hope you all take your time and read it as well!

Ayana Takahara

ICU Japan '24

Hi, I'm Ayana Takahara. I enjoy writing, eating, cycling, and singing!
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