The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody

June 22, 2018

The Hate U Give deals with the aftermath of the shooting of a young black teenager by a police officer, and readers travel along with Starr, the young female protagonist, as the African American community that she grew up in struggles with this issue. Thomas does not try to hide the ugly side of the community’s reaction either. She makes sure to include instances where protests shift into out-of-control rioting and describes the destruction that these riots can cause to the community itself. Furthermore, not only does she show more than one side of a protest, but she also emphasizes the fact that not all police officers are guilty of racism or racial profiling; most of them join because they want to make a difference in their community. While, she makes it explicitly clear to the reader that the officer in the novel who shot and killed the unarmed African American male is guilty, she also makes sure to emphasize that there are upright cops on the same force.  

 

Angie Thomas’s novel The Hate U Give addresses the serious and important issue of police brutality and police racial profiling pertaining to minorities, in this case, African Americans. She also addresses other issues, such as poverty, racism, gang violence, drug abuse and addiction, and domestic abuse.  While these issues are not limited to predominately African American, they are typically associated with these neighborhoods. Throughout the novel, the phrase “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody” is constantly repeated by the African American characters. Readers learn that this phrase refers to the repercussions for how horribly the oppressed people within a society are treated. The system is designed against the oppressed people within a society, and eventually the oppressed will rise up, riot, and protest, which is not only what happens in this novel, but in everyday America as well.

 

An additional realistic feature of this novel is that the communities that our main character exists within are not exclusive. Starr lives in a lower-class neighborhood, that is predominantly African American. However, she attends a school where the students belong to upper-class families and she is one of the few black students in her class. These communities are porous enough that individuals from each—who have contradictory ideals and outlooks on life—can attempt to understand the other’s point of view. Communities are not set in stone. However, through communication and discussion, people can attempt to understand another person’s place within the world. Furthermore, while her novel addresses the non-exclusive nation of different neighborhoods, she also emphasizes the interconnectedness between members within the African American community. Due to the struggles that African Americans have experienced in the past, and are currently experiencing, there is an immediate connection between black people because they have or will experience similar struggles in America, simply because of the color of their skin. The Garden Heights community in The Hate U Give is similar to a family. They fight and judge one another; however, they support each other in difficult situations because they are aware that their neighbors are sometimes the only ones who will help them in difficult situations.

 

The Hate U Give is a must read for people who are trying to understand the struggles that African Americans experience daily. More importantly, this novel is a must read for people who feel marginalized by American society because they will finally have a character with whom they are able to identify, so that they are aware that they are not alone, and that other people experience similar struggles and are fighting for similar causes.

 The rapper Tupac Shakur is widely considered as one of the most influential musicians in contemporary times.

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