The Hate You Give

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas has to be the most sensational and relevant novel of the whole 2018 year. It follows the story of a young black girl from the projects who  on her way home from a party with a friend, saw that unarmed friend pulled over and shot by a white cop. Police brutality in the novel just like in real life now is followed by an awakening of the prejudice that is prevalent in America today towards people of color.

The cop shows an implicit bias against people of color when he pulls the victim Khalil over, when he forces him out of the car, when he assumes Kalil says he is going to “get him,” when he assumes the brush Khalil is getting from his car is a gun and finally when he shoots him. The protagonist Starr who attends an almost entirely all white school is then reawakened to the prejudice that appears even among her own peers most specifically her best friend Haley. From the total disregard of a teenage boy being murdered to subliminally prejudiced comments and etc. her racism goes from implicit to explicit when Starr confronts her.

A novel like this is one that can be loved by all as it will literally make you cry on one page and laugh out loud the next even if your a hater of a books. It is also a powerful book not because it villanizes all white people as being racist but because it calls out the prejudice that exists, prejudice that when one recognizes it in oneself can actively work to dispel it. Starr calls out this implicit bias directly in the novel and most specifically within in the police force because they are more dangerous than the average citizen with their combination of training, protective gear and weapons. Everyone has at least an implicit bias and this can come from a variety of places such as school, hometown, family, friends, social media, etc. but like any problem the first step is to recognize that you have it.

 

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