Imagine living in a world where racial differences make you feel unsafe, only due to the fact of your skin color.
Is it fair that society uses stereotypes of black people, only to justify violence and racism against them? This is the world of Starr Carter in Angie Thomas´ novel “The Hate U Give” from 2017.
The novel deals with police brutality, gun violence, and the weaponizing of stereotypes, as it follows the life of a black family, who lives in Garden Heights.
Starr never misleads the reader or attempts to save face by distorting the truth: “I know this is the moment I’m supposed to remember her, but I don’t.
I guess Kenya was right—I really don’t know anybody… I can lie though. “Yeah, I remember you.”” (p,12. l,25). Even if Starr is lying in this quote, she tells the reader the truth behind her actions, which makes her more credible.
Starr goes to a School called “Williamson Prep”, which has damaged her ability to feel comfortable in Garden Heights, which can be seen in the following quote:
“it’s hard to make friends when you go to a school that’s forty-five minutes away” (p,9. l,23). This makes it difficult for her to feel comfortable at the party in Garden Heights, as she doesn’t know so many people.
Starr tends to distance herself from others. Her sense of feeling out of place, causes her to judge the people at the party: “Girls wear their hair colored, curled, laid, and slayed…
Guys in their freshest kicks and sagging pants grind so close to girls they just about need condoms.” (p,1. l,19 - p,2. l,2). She observes all this because she feels out of place, and to emphasize the fact that she is not used to these surroundings.
Starr´s insecurity particularly emerges, when she reflects on how she must earn coolness in Garden Heights: “Funny how it works with white kids though.
It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.” (p,15. l,6). It is like Starr lives in two different worlds where she does not fit in either one of them.
However, that is what makes Starr special from others, because she has a bigger perspective of the two different worlds.
Starr´s childhood best friend Khalil appears to be a kind person as it says: “Khalil is watching me. A smile tries to form on his lips, but he shakes his head. “Can’t believe you still love whiny-ass Drake.” (p,17. l,10).