Based on Angie Thomas’ 2017 same name novel, “The Hate U Give” follows Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), a Black teenager forced to deal with adult-like problems, when her friend is killed by police. Like so many other young Black people, Starr experiences some of the world’s most difficult scenarios prematurely. The movie is an emotional roller coaster permeated with grief, joy, sorrow, and hilarity.
The film has a hard-hitting cast—Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, Common, Issa Rae, and Anthony Mackie. The “starr” who shined the brightest though is Amandla Stenberg. She is perfect. The 19-year-old captures both the innocence and strength of Black femininity. If “The Hate U Give” is any indication of her talent and merit, I’d love to see more of her on the big screen.
The book and movie title stems from the iconic acronym Tupac Shakur had tattooed across his abdomen—T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E., meaning “The Hate U Give Little Infants F*** Everybody,” takes on a timeless meaning when the same hate that killed Latasha Harlins also killed Antwon Rose II 27 years later.
Tupac is one of the most underappreciated minds of all-time. His music and logic surpassed most understanding, and, oftentimes, his wisdom was overshadowed by legal troubles and misinterpretation. I consider myself a Tupac fan, and I was delighted to find that “The Hate U Give” paid homage to his life, lyrics and legacy. The film honors the late West Coast rapper’s philosophy by connecting it to today’s most horrific instances—police brutality, racial injustice, and gang violence.
I mentioned this young man in my last movie review, because I just cannot get him out of my mind. As shots rang out in the film, “The Hate U Give” rang out a chilling reminder that we will never see the rose that grew from Antwon’s concrete. That’s heartbreaking.
It is important for young minds, that can still be molded and shaped, to see this film. I welcomed students from Pittsburgh CAPA and Pittsburgh Obama as special guests at an advance screening last week.
“‘The Hate U Give’ is a great depiction of modern-day society. If I learned anything, it is that as long as you stand for what is right, no one has the power to take away your stance,” said Cecil Price III, 17, a junior at Pittsburgh Obama.
“The Hate U Give” hits theaters nationwide on Friday, Oct. 19.
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