Anyone who knows me probably knows that I've been trying to tell literally anyone who will listen about the sheer brilliance of Angie Thomas's award-winning 2017 young adult novel "The Hate U Give" about a young black girl who is the only witness to the shooting of her lifelong best friend--who is unarmed--by the police and the whirlwind of events that follows. I have never read a book or really consumed any piece of art that so deftly and uncompromisingly runs the gauntlet of all that encompasses the experience of being black in America. From mass incarceration to an uncle who is police officer to "passing" at a predominantly white private high school to having a white boyfriend who evolves from reluctant ally to willing accomplice and another white best friend who falls off because "you talk about race too much" to absent fathers in jail to present fathers doing their best despite a checkered past to protests turned riots to being pressured not to snitch by rival gangs who end up joining hands in the streets and so much more.
This is one of the most important books you will ever read, especially if you are a white person and I can't recommend it highly enough. I cried through the last four chapters. My first thought when I saw that they were making a movie out of this was that they better not water this shit down. Then I watched the trailer. NOPE. NOT DOING THAT. They even teased my favorite scene in the book at the very end with the tear gas (if you read it, you know; I almost cried all over again). SO EXCITED FOR THIS. If you haven’t read this, DO IT NOW. In the words of Chris from P.I. Forever, "we need movies like [this] right now."