After drying my tears, I have successfully been able to gather up my emotions and form a solid review on this movie.  

Pause. I need a second.

Okay, I’m ready.

Emotional is not the word to describe the way The Hate U Give made me feel. The film effectively and efficiently touched on themes that are significantly impacting the black community today.  A close-minded individual may have thought the film solely focused on police brutality, but it covered multiple topics that are just as, if not more, relevant. Some topics touched upon other than the obvious police brutality are, inter-community violence in the black areas, interracial dating, positive friendships, and the effects of representation on the youth.

Starr’s navigation of her two lives is one that many young black girls can relate to. Often times, many young women feel as if they have to switch their blackness on or off depending on the situation they are in. The film does not shy away from showing the good and the bad of Starr’s journey to self-actualization. From witnessing the two murders of best friends, to her first relationship, and finally finding her voice, Starr comes out on top. She was able to navigate the adversities that were placed in her life with the support of her real friends and family.

The film also references the late Tupac Shakur’s album THUG LIFE. Before watching the film, I was familiar with the saying but was ignorant of its meaning. “The hate u give little infants f***s everybody.” The saying helped in narrating the effects that not only individuals, but whole communities have on younger children. Having witnessed all of the violence and corruptness in his neighborhood, Starr’s younger brother, Sekani, ends up turning to violence to protect his own family.

One of my favorite aspects of the film was the portrayal of the Carter family. The stereotypical view of a family with a parent that was incarcerated is often seen as dysfunctional or unstable. The Carters are a close unit family that is filled with nothing but love. The children’s parents instill in them at a young age that they are all gifted and must use those talents for good. This displays the importance of positive affirmations to children.

A conflict that often leaves murderers free on the streets is the street code of “no snitching.” Since Starr is the witness of the shooting of both her friends, the code is relevant to her case. When she begins to speak up about the situation the safety of her family is threatened. At the end of the film, she vows to end the cycle of violence in her community. With the help of the entire community, they were able to put away one of the most dangerous drug dealers in their community. Unity is power.

The Hate U Give gets 5 stars from me. I highly recommend the film to everyone as it focuses on relevant issues that occur in the U.S daily. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. The first step to ending injustice is to recognize it and this film helps with the process.

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