For me The Hate U Give is that book!
It had me openly weeping on a train by page 26.
It stoked anger within me – against the systems that keep people down, that normalise the murder of children at the same time as denying them fair and equal choices, freedoms and education.
I am a child (and adult) of privilege; growing up white and male insulated me from what most of the world experiences. Having a conscience and sense of social justice I naturally gravitate left and believe that the inequalities of the world have to be fought and the systemic racism and patriarchialism of the world as it is need to be challenged and dismantled. What I do not have are the experiences of those that are not white and male.
The Hate U Give has been my first experience of seeing the world through the eyes of a person that lives in a world that judges her and her friends and family by the colour of her skin and gender.
It has been said that writing is a political act, and it cannot be more true with The Hate U Give, reading this novel is activism. But it is more than that, to merely describe it as a political novel or an ‘issues book’ would be to diminish it. This is a story about life, love, family, community and loss. For people who daily experience the acts contained within its pages, this book is a mirror showing themselves and their lives; for communities disconnected from these experiences it can act as bridge to understanding and building empathy.
To Angie Thomas I say want to say thank you! With this book you have strengthened my resolve to fight for and with my friends and colleagues for a better world.
To everyone else I say – read this book!
If you know people that say things like “All lives matter!” in the face of the Black Lives Matter movement and the institutionalised oppression and murder of those whose skin colour does not resemble their own, or they believe that we live, love, work and play on a level playing field then buy then a copy. While you are doing that, buy yourself a copy, The Hate U Give is a book for everyone.
Thug Life: TuPac Shakur: