Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right.
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According to Monnica Williams, a clinical psychologist and director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville who spoke with PBS, graphic images can have a psychological impact on people of color:
“It’s upsetting and stressful for people of color to see these events unfolding,” she says. “It can lead to depression, substance abuse and, in some cases, psychosis. Very often, it can contribute to health problems that are already common among African-Americans such as high blood pressure.”
According to Williams:
“There’s a heightened sense of fear and anxiety when you feel like you can’t trust the people who’ve been put in charge to keep you safe. Instead, you see them killing people who look like you." “Combined with the everyday instances of racism, like microaggressions and discrimination, that contributes to a sense of alienation and isolation. It’s race-based trauma.”
The film was adapted from the novel with the same title "The Hate U Give." The author of the novel Angie Thomas wanted to give her audience an inside look at the humanity involved in police shootings. She also aimed to give hope to young people who have similar feelings about police brutality as the characters in the story. Check out an interview Thomas did with Epic Reads about the inspiration for the novel.