Okay, you’ve probably already seen The Hate Your Give trailer online and around the web. But, you still could use some information to help understand the message deeply embedded in the book and the upcoming movie. You see, The Hate You Give is not purely for entertainment. It is a “call to arms” for not only Black people but to everyone calling themselves, or aspiring to be, American.
Here are 10 notes to take along with you as you watch the trailer, and later join the movement. They will remind you why Angie Thomas wrote The Hate You Give, and why you should activate–do something–after watching.
- Tupac’s “Keep Your Head Up” is playing in the trailer. Thomas is a Tupac fan, in fact, the book’s title comes from a Tupac saying. (See #8-9) The artist’s work and philosophy are present through this trailer.
- The trailer hints at a codeswitching theme. The main character Starr Carter (played by Amandla Steinberg) talks about living in the so-called “ghetto” and attending private school in the suburbs. Juggling two worlds requires a conversation about the realities of codeswitching, which the movie is eager to engage in.
- Russell Hornsby also played a father of a child killed by police on the small screen. He was Isaiah the father of Brandon, a boy who was killed by a police officer in the show Seven Seconds. That show looked at the phenomenon from the angle of an attorney for the city charged with prosecuting the crime—one committed by the officers she was forced to work with every day. In The Hate You Give, Hornsby plays a father once again, but this time to a child who survives the incident, but is badly damaged by it.
- The shooting of Oscar Grant III in 2009 is what inspired the book. In 2009, a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer shot and killed Oscar Grant. He later testified that he meant to draw his taser but got his gun instead. The officer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter but served less than a year of actual jail time. BART settled a civil suit with the five other men who were detained with Oscar Grant that night. They also settled a suit with Grant’s mother and daughter.
- Grant’s murder was depicted in film Fruitvale Station in 2013. The movie starred Michael B. Jordan as Grant and won several awards. Critics did say the film did not stick to the facts of the case. However, the message from the film was loud and clear.
- The Hate You Give is link is connected to Black Panther. The book was inspired by Oscar Grant III’s death, who was played by Micheal B. Jordan in the film Fruitvale Station. That film was directed by newcomer Ryan Coogler, who would later cast Jordan as the villain Killmonger in Black Panther.
- The Hate You Give pre-dates the Black Lives Matter movement it represents. Thomas started the story as a senior thesis project for her BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree in Creative Writing. She expanded it after the Oscar Grant shooting in 2009 and use research from Trayvon Martin’s case and Michael Brown’s to complete the narrative.
- The title is part of a tattoo and motto from one of her favorite artists. Tupac tattooed the word THUGLIFE on his body and rapped about it in his work. Most people thought it was a cool synonym for the “gangsta” lifestyle. Fans knew that it really means, The Hate You Give Little Infants F%#ks Everybody” and it was an indictment of the way society perceived black children.
- Some people have misinterpreted the saying. There are a few people on social media saying that The Hate You Give is a form of the Biblical, “You reap what you sow.” However, this interpretation ignores the racial component of the title and its implication for society at large.
- Thomas cleared any doubt about the meaning of the title when she said, “Pac said THUGLIFE stood for ‘The Hate You Give Little Infants F@#ks Everybody.’ T-H-U-G-L-I-F-E. Meaning what society gives us as youth it bites them in the ass when we wild out. Get it?
The Hate You Give hits theaters October 19, 2018. You can pick up a copy of the book today.
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Jonita Davis is a writer, mother, a certified nerd, and writer of Black Girl Nerds. Davis is a critic and journalist. She has been writing for 13 years about the way pop culture and politics affect our lives as parents, women, black women, nerds, and people of this planet.