The Best-Selling Novel Behind ‘The Hate U Give’8 months ago by Kristin Paradisis in Movie News, Trailers, FILMS
“When you’re ready to talk, you talk. Don’t ever let nobody make you be quiet.”
The power of one’s voice is a central theme within Angie Thomas’ revolutionary best-seller The Hate U Give. Thomas originally penned the project as a short story for her senior project at Belhaven University’s creative writing program. Inspiration for the short story came from Thomas’ feelings of anger and fear after hearing the news about Oscar Grant’s shooting in 2009. The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, among so many others at the hands of police, influenced Thomas to expand the story into a novel.
Angie Thomas was originally unsure whether she would find publishers who would be interested in material inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. The author even chose to reach out to a literary agent named Brooks Sherman for advice on Twitter in the summer of 2015. One year later, one of the world’s largest publishing companies, HarperCollins, bought the rights to the book and signed a two-book deal with Thomas. The Hate U Give was officially published in February of 2017.
The novel, which has now been adapted into a film, shows protagonist Starr Carter (portrayed by Amandla Stenberg) constantly navigating life between two worlds: a poor, predominantly black neighborhood where she lives and the rich, predominantly white prep school she attends. The balance that she works to maintain between the two worlds is ruptured when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a white police officer during a traffic stop. As Khalil’s death causes an uproar and makes national headlines while compelling protesters to storm the streets, Starr Carter must now come face to face with risk in order to stand up for what is right.
Russell Hornsby, Lamar Johnson, Regina Hall, Algee Smith, Issa Rae, Common, Anthony Mackie and Sabrina Carpenter also star in the film directed by George Tillman Jr. The Hate U Give is set for release on October 19. Be sure to watch the heart-wrenching trailer below!