Watching: ‘The Hate U Give’.

It’s the start of a short week, and I’m sure half of you are scrambling for a busy week, and the other half of you are relaxing as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches!

I’m in the latter group, but I’m using this short, likely slow week as a chance to plan for some upcoming things and get in some much-needed rest.

While I do have to work at a majority of the week, yesterday felt a little different, and I decided to bash any Sunday scaries with a trip to the movies. I FINALLY saw, “The Hate U Give” after reading the book last year (you can read my full review of the book here).

Here is the movie’s description from Google:

Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds — the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what’s right.

I really thought the movie did a great job of bringing the book to life, and I know that’s not often the case when movies are book adaptations. Amandla Stenberg plays Starr, and she was a refreshing version of the character I pictured in my head while I was reading the book.

One thing I didn’t really think about before going into the theatre was the soundtrack for the movie… and there were some good songs in there including “We Won’t Move” by Arlissa, “Goosebumps” by Travis Scott, and “Gotta Keep Ya Head Up” by 2Pac.

Starr’s father, played by Russell Hornsby, was as equal a lead as Starr – he was so bold, and his words were half of what had me crying throughout most of the movie.

Of course, this movie is emotional – it puts viewers in the front seat (pun intended) of so many of the headlines we’ve seen over the last few years – innocent blacks killed by white cops. And it was tough to see, even though I’ve watched likely hundreds of hours of news coverage, read books, and even studied the structures of institutional racism in our country.

Nothing is quite like the gun shots, the blood on a movie screen.

But, “Making white people cry”, as Stenberg said during an interview on The Daily Show, was a large part of why the movie was made – to get the privileged to have empathy for those who are wrongfully targeted.

While I have been following this problem for years, I’d say seeing this movie is a good first step if you’re unaware of white privilege and the construct of #BlackLivesMatter – if that is you – make it your 2019 resolution to get woke, and see this movie and/or read the book. You owe it to yourself to be educated on the systems in our country.

This book and this movie reminded me that we have to use the voice we were given to speak out against injustice – no matter how big or small the issue. Do not shy away into silence.

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