THUG LIFE: “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody” an acronym from 2Pac (or is it Tupac?)
Angie Thomas wrote a book, ‘The Hate U Give.’ She was inspired by the death of Oscar Grant in Oakland California. Tupac is a favorite of hers. The movie of the novel was written, as far as I can see, mainly for teens, but it is also a hope of the author that adults will read it and gain insight and understanding from it.
The protagonist in the novel is a young, sixteen year old girl living in a not so great part of town. Her parents, to keep her safe, are sending her and her siblings to schools in a nearby affluent area. What you see is the girl, Starr, talking about being Starr1 and Starr2. She maintains two identities, one that works in the ‘hood’ and one that works at the very ‘white’ school. She is successful in either location until, as often happens in life, all Hell breaks loose.
She is at a party and ends up leaving with a longtime friend. This guy is a total victim of life and racism. He has few means to make ends meet, he is the same age as Starr, and lives with his grandmother who has cancer. Khalil and Starr leave the party, Khalil driving her home because a fight had broken out. Khalil was Starr’s first crush and kiss, and she had grown up with him in the neighborhood. The cop stops the car, clearly a victim of profiling, and a shooting ensues. We all know the story line.
I am not going to give out any spoilers. Pandora’s box is truly opened and the dominoes start falling. Starr’s hold on her life at the affluent school takes a dive as she becomes distant from her white boyfriend that her dad hasn’t even met and she encounters racism in not so many surprising ways.
The movie is complicated, as is the whole issue. So many of us out there want to say we are not racist, and I am among them, but yet we have at the very least, racist edges that are caused by the lives we lead and have led and the things that we see on the Media. The privileged white are not capable of escaping the disease of racism.
I go back to the Tupac’s quote now. The hateful things that we unfortunately teach the young in such situations comes back to haunt us all and is detrimental to the healing we all need. It is horrific for all sides.
The movie is well done. The acting is wonderful. The depiction of the people is, from my point of view, very real. Are there answers? Yes and No. Are we ready to receive them and act on them? Not really, especially not given the times we live in.
Does the movie make us feel hope? Yes, hope springs eternal.
See this movie!