A review by givnuapeacesign
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

5.0

I am a 51 year old white grandmother. I have been raised in and have always lived in an all white neighborhood. I teach at a school where the number of black children are similar to the Williamson Prep School highlighted in this novel. My parents never talked to me about what to do if I was pulled over or questioned by a policeman. I never talked to my children about the topic either. I have never been afraid of policeman. Officer Friendly and all... I have never been hungry, really hungry. The only time the lights went out was when I forgot to pay the bill. I've never been in a situation where I had to choose to pay the bill or feed my child. Never have I had to worry about medical care or go without insurance. I have always been able to buy homes, cars, major appliances on time installments. I've never held more than one job at a time. I do not know anyone who has been murdered. I only know one person who has had to be hospitalized from being beaten, and that was two white teens. I am white privilege.
This novel is astounding. It took me walking inside the brain, neighborhood, schools, fashion, loving relationships, fears of Starr. She faces more before breakfast every day than I will face my entire life. Angie Thomas has created a brilliant glimpse that every American should read, today. TODAY. The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone. Thug Life via Tupac. Being beaten down, not believed, attacked by: authorities, family, friends, schools, society every single solitary second. This novel brings that into reality for those of us who cannot conceive it. I can only imagine how it would make those living it feel...what's the word... understood? validated? A hairbrush is NOT a gun. A neighborhood does not a criminal make, or does it... I struggle for words. I do know that this novel is true beyond any book review. I do know that the lifestyle of the characters within is survival, not a choice or a fashion statement. I do know that the danger is there and many times selling or using substances is the only means to cope with the poverty and hopelessness life presents every second. Yet I also know our lily white America has no desire to "get it." I know that every black man in America, EVERY BLACK MAN, including President Obama, has had to look over his shoulder, panic as a police car tails him, been followed in stores... I fear this will NEVER change in MY country. For is this America really the land of the free for those whose skin isn't white? Can this country be saved? Changed? I really don't see it happening. Yet those of us with white skin, the white privileged like ME, can at least TRY. We can in our own way try. We must try.