Overcoming Social Injustices in America
Have you ever been blamed for something you had no part in doing? The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, shows us the perfect example of the society we are living in today. The novel mainly focuses on how to change the inequality African Americans face in the 21st century and the ongoing cycle of poverty and crime. Police brutality and injustices has arisen over the past years, and it caused a drastic downfall within the society.
Starr, the main character, is confronted with the issue of race by living in two very different worlds. She wants for people to look past ones skin color, but rather focus on the true person they are within. Starr uses her community and family to bring a change to society injustice within Garden Heights, so that they may live in a world of equality. Starr uses her voice and her community support as an advocate to show that all lives are equally important despite any circumstances.
Angie Thomas uses her title The Hate U Give as an acronym for T.H.U.G to show what most people in society viewed African Americans.
As a human being in todays society, you should not have to live life in a constant fear of those that are meant to protect you. Police are there to protect and serve the people, not harm innocent human beings with extensive force. Khalil Harris, Starrs childhood best friend, was an unarmed victim of police brutality, which resulted in his life being cut short so soon. The media attempts to portray a negative image towards Khalil by labeling him as a thug, drug dealer, or a criminal in order to justify the wrongdoings of the police officer. Starr witnesses the entire shooting of her friend, which will cause her to constantly live in fear of police brutality. By the cops shooting an unarmed innocent African American, causes not only a community, but the society to raise uproar because of the inequality and injustices faced by being black in America. Angie Thomas ultimately wanted to express that police brutality is an issue beyond black vs. white individuals and show that the systemic criminalization of colored people can be internalized by anyone.
People of all colors deserve to live an equally fair life, despite your cultural background. The color of your skin should not define the content of your character, nor the way you should be treated. Angie uses Starr, the main character, to show how society treats you based on your race and how you should act. Starr attends Williamson Prep School, a predominantly wealthy and white school. However, she lives in Garden Heights, a primarily low income black community, where she feels like she is living a double life. Starr does not want to be considered as being too black at school, yet also being too white at home. You have the right for your voice to be heard no matter who you are. what will that make me? The thug ghetto girl with the drug dealer? What will my teachers think about me? My friends? (Thomas 113) After witnessing the death of her friend, she knew that her and Khalil would be stereotyped. Starr fears that people will think of her a poor, ghetto, black girl just by judging where she is from. Because of todays society, it is very unfortunate how accurate her thoughts are. Although the novel celebrates blackness and embracing who you are, Angie still wants to show her readers that you are uniquely you no matter what color skin you may be in and your life equally matters.
When a community comes together for the good of the people, they can overcome anything. With the physical and emotional destruction in Garden Heights after Khalils death, Starr knew that it was long overdue for a change. Starr wished to use her community and family support to help fight the oppressive systems, so that society can start changing for the better. Gangs are destructive to any community; which is why she is so determined to help get rid of the gang systems so that they may recreate unity. By using her resources, Starr was able to help rebuild Garden Heights into a place of peace. The goal was for her to break the tradition of the Garden Heights community being labeled as ghetto and remove the stereotypical assumptions society created.