Depiction of Racism and Injustive in "The Hate U Give"

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 845 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: May 31, 2021

Words: 845|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: May 31, 2021

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Relatable Main Character
  3. Systematic Racism Through Starr's Perspective
  4. Addressing Misconceptions and Motivations
  5. Conclusion
  6. References


The issue of racial injustice has persisted for decades, deeply rooted in the fabric of society. As readers seek to engage with literature that addresses these pressing concerns, "The Hate U Give" emerges as a powerful fictional narrative that illuminates the racial and systemic injustices faced by African Americans in contemporary America. This essay delves into the exploration of racism in "The Hate U Give," shedding light on the central themes, characters, and the novel's resonance with readers.

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Relatable Main Character

At the heart of "The Hate U Give" is Starr Carter, a young African American teenager thrust into the center of racial turmoil when she witnesses the police shooting of her childhood friend, Khalil. The book navigates her journey as she grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, feeling compelled to take a stand against racial injustice in her community. Starr's character is relatable, transcending backgrounds and ethnicity, resonating with readers from various walks of life.

One of the most striking aspects of Starr's character is her struggle to maintain a balance between her two worlds. She attends Williamson Prep, a predominantly white private school, while residing in the predominantly African American and economically disadvantaged neighborhood of Garden Heights. Starr's experiences mirror the challenges many individuals face when they feel compelled to alter their behavior and identity to fit into different social contexts. This struggle is a poignant reflection of the complexities of identity and belonging, making Starr a relatable character for readers, particularly those who have faced similar dilemmas.

Starr's family dynamic further contributes to her relatability. "The Hate U Give" presents a genuine portrayal of familial relationships, emphasizing the bonds of love, support, and aspiration that tie the Carter family together. The portrayal of a loving and supportive family resonates with readers and underscores the importance of familial connections in navigating life's challenges.

Systematic Racism Through Starr's Perspective

The novel masterfully conveys the insidious nature of systematic racism in America through Starr's eyes. It offers a stark depiction of how media often portrays young black men as guilty until proven innocent, reinforcing harmful stereotypes and prejudices. Starr, as the protagonist, becomes a symbol of resilience and defiance against a system that she knows is working against her and her community.

One poignant example of systematic racism in the novel is the portrayal of Khalil in the media. Following his tragic death, Khalil is unfairly depicted as a possible gang member, which influences public opinion and contributes to the perception that his killing was justified. The media's role in shaping public perception and its complicity in perpetuating racial biases are highlighted throughout the narrative.

Additionally, the novel explores the shielding of the police officer who committed the shooting from the media. This deliberate effort to protect the officer and control the narrative exemplifies the systemic racism embedded within the justice system. It reflects how institutions often prioritize protecting those in power over delivering justice and accountability.

Addressing Misconceptions and Motivations

Some critics have argued that "The Hate U Give" is motivated by the Black Lives Matter movement and wrongly places the responsibility for oppression on black individuals. However, this perspective fails to acknowledge the larger context of racial bias within the justice system and society at large.

The Black Lives Matter movement seeks to address systemic racism, advocating for justice and equality. Starr's journey in the novel aligns with the movement's goals by challenging a system that disproportionately targets and discriminates against African Americans. The book does not place blame on the oppressed but rather sheds light on the injustices they face and their resilience in the face of adversity.


In conclusion, "The Hate U Give" is a profound narrative that offers readers a relatable main character, Starr Carter, who grapples with the complexities of identity and belonging. Through Starr's perspective, the novel exposes the insidious nature of systematic racism in America, emphasizing the role of media and the justice system in perpetuating racial biases. It also addresses misconceptions about the book's motivations, emphasizing that it aligns with the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Ultimately, "The Hate U Give" serves as a valuable literary work that provides insight into the struggles of the African American community, challenges misconceptions, and underscores the urgency of addressing racism in contemporary America. It stands as a testament to the power of literature to provoke thought, foster empathy, and spark meaningful conversations about issues of social justice and equality.


  1. Thomas, A. (2017). The Hate U Give. HarperCollins.
  2. Woodson, J. (2017). The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: Racial and Class Tensions in Contemporary America. Callaloo, 40(4), 974-978.
  3. Yoon, N. H., & Azar, S. (2019). "Empathy Through Literature: Teaching 'The Hate U Give' to Secondary Students." The English Journal, 108(4), 54-59.
  4. Moore, D. S. (2019). "Embracing Adolescents' Voices: Analyzing 'The Hate U Give' with High School Students." The English Journal, 109(5), 28-34.
  5. Bell, J. (2018). "Reading 'The Hate U Give' in Our Racist Nation." The English Journal, 107(6), 41-47.
  6. Kendi, I. X. (2017). "How 'The Hate U Give' Can Start a Necessary Conversation About Black Lives." Time Magazine.
  7. Thomas, A. (2017). The Hate U Give: Author Angie Thomas in Conversation with Deesha Philyaw. Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Depiction of Racism and Injustive in “The Hate U Give”. (2021, May 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“Depiction of Racism and Injustive in “The Hate U Give”.” GradesFixer, 31 May 2021,
Depiction of Racism and Injustive in “The Hate U Give”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 May 2024].
Depiction of Racism and Injustive in “The Hate U Give” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 May 31 [cited 2024 May 25]. Available from:
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