The number of unarmed Black citizens that have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement over the last six years is astounding. For quite some time it seemed as though there was a new name becoming a hashtag everyday:
Worse than these lives being lost is the sense of normalcy we've begun to feel at hearing these stories. While these incidents are no longer a surprising occurrence, the normalization of these deaths in no way makes the feelings of anger and frustration dissipate. Furthermore, we understand that Blacks, for centuries, have had a complex relationship with law enforcement that goes back to the days of slavery.
When I first saw Angie Thomas’ book The Hate U Give, I thought, “How tragic is it that this work of fiction is a reality for so many people and their families?” Her ability to bring awareness to such an important topic in the form of a story is incredible. It is an important read and one that should be read by both adults and youth alike. Without having conversations about the epidemic of unarmed Blacks being killed by law enforcement there is no way to even begin to address and attempt to fix the problem.
As a debut novel, her writing is exceptional. The story is powerful. It opens the door for parents to talk to their children about any fears they may have in regards to their safety and their ability to trust those who are supposed to protect and serve. Thomas created characters that you are able to connect with and that touch your soul in a way that makes them stick with you long after you finish the book. The Hate U Give is an absolute must read.