I recently watched “The Hate U Give,” directed by George Tillman Jr. and starring Amandla Stenberg, who plays Starr Carter. It is based on a book by Angie Thomas and was released on Sept. 7, 2018. This movie caught my attention because it is about a teenage girl who deals with racism and police brutality. She witnesses her African American friend, Kahlil Harris, played by Algee Smith, being murdered by the police. The movie shows the double life of Starr; she lived in a poor neighborhood, but she went to a fancy prep school. Starr couldn’t be too “hood” in the prep school, but she couldn’t be too “white” at home.
“The Hate U Give” is about a 16-year-old girl, Starr, who is trying to balance her uneasy life, but her world comes crashing down on one particular night. Starr and her childhood best friend Khalil are at a party, and they leave due to a shooting, so Khalil decides to give Starr a ride home. While they are on their way home, they are pulled over by the police. One thing Starr was always taught by her father was whenever the police stops you, always put your hand out so they could see it.
The cop asks Khalil to step out of the car so they could pat him down and check his ID. While the cop does that, Khalil takes his hand off the car to check up on Starr and picks up a brush. The officer thinks he is grabbing a gun, so he fires off on him and kills him. The shooting scarred Starr so badly that if the news found out she witnessed the shooting of Khalil, she would receive backlash from different people. One of the people who would give Starr backlash is King, the leader of the king lords. Khalil was also a part of the gang; he was only selling drugs to pay off his mother's debt. That was the only reason why Khalil was even involved.
Stenberg connects so well with Starr’s character because she also grew up in Inglewood and went to a private high school. According to Backstage, in an article written by Ashley Lee, the 19-year-old Stenberg felt like she was born to play that role; she felt like it came naturally to her.
The reason why I watched this movie is because it's Black History Month and it highlights the Black Lives Matter movement. The movie touches on the way society uses stereotypes of black people to justify violence and racism against them. I connected with it instantly because I am also an African American woman in America, and it shows the way police abuse their power against people of color.
This movie makes me think of the recent events that happened with George Floyd and Tyre Nichols. It saddens me to even think that we still have to go through this. But this movie shows that even though it may be hard to go through something so detrimental, you can still use your voice to help get justice.