November 9, 2018

By Kaleah S., 16

Simon Youth Academy Student

Kaleah spears, SYA

Thug. It’s not just a word. It’s often used as a way to describe drug dealers and gangbangers.

In the bestselling book “The Hate U Give” nd the hit movie of the same title, that word holds similar meaning.

After seeing the commercial for the movie, I knew I wanted to see it. But I also wanted to read the book to compare how similar or not the two would be. Let me tell you, the movie and book are completely different.

Hate U Give

The book has more characters and the scenes are described differently, but both share the same theme: Police brutality portrayed through a young, unarmed African-American male shot and killed by law enforcement.  

We hear about this kind of police brutality almost every day, especially when there is a witness watching someone get murdered in front of their eyes. Starr Carter (the main character in the movie and book) watched this happen twice with two of her best friends. She didn’t want to speak until she saw how this act of violence really affected people.  

This relates to real life — a lot.

If it’s not happening in your neighborhood, we often see it played out via social media. Like in the case of Philando Castile, who in July 2016, was shot and killed by a police officer after he was told to show his license and registration.

Castile informed the officer he had gun in the car and while reaching for his license and registration repeatedly said to the officer that he wasn’t reaching for his gun. Viewers then see Castile being shot seven times by the officer, and eventually die (on camera). The whole thing got recorded by Castile’s girlfriend and was uploaded to Facebook.

I bring this up because it’s an ongoing situation. It has been two years since Castile’s murder, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen to someone else. Black, white, purple, blue, we are all people who deserve to live.

Like they say in the movie: Put the guns down and pick up your words.

If you’re trying to decide between the book or the movie, I would recommend the book because it does have more description than the movie. It was a good movie and it had some great scenes, but you don’t get the feel of the main character and what she’s thinking.