“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give
Starr is a high school student that has to act like two different people: the proper, black girl that attends a private school in a white neighborhood, and the girl she really is and wants to be, living in a mostly poor, black neighborhood. On the way home from a party, Starr witnesses a a fatal shooting, at the hands of a police officer and her life is changed. Starr has to live with the memories and figure out if and how she is going to use her voice to get justice for the person she saw murdered, and all the other people of color that are murdered and dealt injustices at the hands of cops.
Angie Thomas did a phenomenal job with this story. This was published 3 years ago and it is still relevant to what’s happening in our world today. Being a teacher, I saw Starr as one of my students and couldn’t help but wonder what I would do if a student came to me with a story similar to Starr’s. Thomas portrayed the characters and the neighborhood realistically. She brought light to the situations that the black community is facing and has been facing for years, all while subliminally educating readers. I can’t imagine being in the situation that Starr was in. If she’s quiet, nothing is going to change, but because she’s black, if she were to speak out, who would believe her? The struggles of the characters, adults and children, were real struggles. Thomas also portrayed the ignorance of people very well, especially Starr’s white friend from her high school that denied being racist multiple times. These are things that black people deal with all of the time, and as a white woman, I feel like we as a society, are living with blinders on. We are doing such an injustice to our black neighbors and communities by staying silent and not educating ourselves. I feel like this book is something that every white person, everywhere needs to read. It helped put myself in Starr’s shoes and see what’s going on in our world through a different lens.
Though this is a work of fiction, with fake characters, the events and happenings of the book are VERY real. Educate yourselves to what’s happening in our world. We need to do better as a whole – white people I’m looking at you. Use your voice…as the quote above says ““What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Buy this book here or support a local bookstore!
How to continue your support of the BLM movement:
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Black Lives Matter
- Black Visions Collective
- Reclaim the Block
- Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- American Civil Liberties Union
- National Bail Fund Network or local bail funds across the US
- National Police Accountability Project
- Know Your Rights Camp
- Chicago Black-Owned Restaurant Relief Fund