Tuesday, November 22, 2016
The Hate U Give
I wanted to write about how Angie Thomas' brilliant debut novel, The Hate U Give, affected me.
And then I realized that I was making it all about me. And that's not right.
So what I can tell you is this:
The Hate U Give is the most important book of 2017.
It's also one of the best-written.
The teens that populate this novel--Starr, Khalil--are teens that I know. I heard them in my head as if they were standing next to my ear, pouring their truths into my being. They're so authentic that they reach off of the page and pull you into their world, which is our world. Just the one we don't like talking about. The world where innocent kids are shot because of the color of their skin. The world where people feel comfortable spray-painting swastikas and racial slurs on buildings. The world where Black children are again told to go to the back of the bus. This isn't history: this is reality.
Whenever white people on the internet, specifically White Book Twitter, act all confused about how or why something is racist, or why their words are part of systemic oppression, or why Black people would dare to demand that their lives matter just as much as White lives: give them this book. I'm going to just start tweeting the cover of this book with a finger pointing down at it.
Starr shows us the power of a voice--your voice. Use it. Never take it for granted. Speak up and speak out. Proclaim the glory of this book to all the teens in your space and to your coworkers and your colleagues and anyone you meet. And then listen. Listen to what Black voices are telling us, and change.