Peaceful Non-Violent Social Change: Angie Thomas and "The Hate U Give"
Biography of Angie Thomas
Angie Thomas was born in 1988 in Georgetown, Jackson, Mississippi. She witnessed a shootout at the age of six, which led her mother to take her to the library to show her that there was more to the world than what she saw that day. This sparked her love for writing. As a teenager, she was a rapper and even had an article published in Right-On Magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from majority-white Belhaven University. In 2017, she published her novel "The Hate U Give", which won numerous prizes.
Why "The Hate U Give"?
In 2009, the unarmed black man Oscar Grant was shot by a police officer. Angie Thomas was especially angered by what was said about him. She was inspired by both that incident and her own childhood. But Tupac also played a major role. Once he gave us his definition of THUG LIFE. He said: "T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. Meaning: What you feed us as seeds, grows and blows up in your face." The title of the book also comes from this definition. She began writing the book in 2009 as a short story in response to the Oscar Grant case and other deaths. In 2015 she returned to this topic and decided to make it into a novel.
Summary of the Plot
"The Hate U Give" deals with police violence and the power to speak out, but also about the development of Starr. Starr witnesses one of her best friends being shot unarmed by a policeman. Throughout the story, she becomes more courageous and starts to speak up for Khalil in small steps. Starr lives in two worlds, one at home in Garden Heights and the other in her school, which is mainly attended by white people. She talks and behaves differently. Starr has two best friends at school, Maya and Hailey. While Maya herself has foreign roots, Hailey does not understand it and consciously or unconsciously drops racist remarks. As the book progresses, therefore she destroys the friendship between herself and Starr.
Development of the Plot
There is no real development of the plot. It is rather a development of Starr's character or nature and a development of her relationships with different people. The most important thing is the development of the character of the main character, because that is what the story lives on. This development influences every further decision of Starr and with it the continuation of the book.
The Conflict and the Solution
The conflict in the novel is that police violence and racism are part of everyday life in America. They are observed in everyday life, for example while shopping, as if they were criminals. But the police also treat black people differently from white people. And this difference in dealing with each other is the main theme of the book. There is no solution to this problem, because it is still topical. In the novel it ends with Khalil being blamed for his own death and Officer Brian Cruise being acquitted.
Starr Amara Carter is the main character who witnesses the shooting of her friend Khalil. Khalil Harris is her friend who is shot by a police officer.
"The Hate U Give" is a powerful novel that deals with important issues such as police violence and racism. Angie Thomas' writing is emotional and thought-provoking, and her characters are well-developed. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in social justice and the fight for equality.