How many of us have that one white friend that doesn’t think they’re racist because they have black friends, listen to rap music or are related in some way to someone of color. The truth of the matter is hatred is not inbred…it’s taught by those in our inner circle. That inner circle can be a relative, a friend or a mentor whose influence weighs greatly on our psyche.
Meet Starr (Amanda Stenberg), a young African-American teen who is the daughter of a nurse and business owner/ex-gang member. Starr’s world turns upside down after witnessing one of her closest childhood friends shot point-blank during a traffic stop. She learns quickly that she’s been viewing the world through rose-colored glasses which have become tainted through the reality of her current existence. When faced with the decision as to whether to keep her mouth shut or stand up for her friend who can no longer speak for himself, life becomes complicated at best in every lane.
Amandla Stenberg is a rising star. Period. She has the depth and emotional breadth of an actress twice her age and delivers a performance worthy of any award available to her. Russell Hornsby as her Dad (Maverick) is simply marvelous. He portrays the type of black man all should aspire to become. A man who is passionate about life, his family and educates his children about the realistic dangers of being a person of color in America. Regina Hall, as Starr’s Mom, consistently and convincingly portrays black women in a light of positivity, realness and compassion.
George Tillman, Jr. does it again! Having burst on the scene with such classics like ‘Soulfood,’ if anyone knows how to tell ‘our’ stories it’s him! He directs from a human point of view – not a person of color. As we know, police brutality and abuse runs rampant across a multitude of ethnic communities, not just with African-Americans. Thanks to Angie Thomas, we have a story that should and will resonate with masses in America and beyond.
After all, like they say in the film,”‘Where you live DOES NOT define WHO you are.”
The Hate U Give, adapted from the prolific novel by Angie Thomas, is a powerful, dramatic statement on the continuing conversation that lingers around police brutality, racism within and outside of the African-American community. It will make you angry, make you think and make you realize that friendship extends beyond the grave.