Social Justice in 'The Hate U Give' Essay

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“He didn't see a man with hopes and dreams, with disappointments and accomplishments. All he saw in front of him was just another nigger.”(Kenneth Eade) The novel The Hate U Give represents institutional oppression, injustice, and bias with the shooting of Khaili Harris. While growing up in an unprivileged community; boys fall into gang life to provide for their families. Where the color of your skin can be the downfall of your life; where cops see you just as a gangbanger, who doesn’t have ambitions or dreams.

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Firstly, The Hate U Give manifests harmful bias and injustice when regarding police brutality. Police brutality plays a huge factor in unprivileged black communities, where parents must have a talk with their children about what to do when they encounter law enforcement. The parents Maverick and Lisa have this talk with Starr on how to behave in front of police because being black and having an exchange with a cop can be a life or death situation. Maverick explains to his children the systemic racism that they face every day in society, with the community they live in, and the school they go to. His children also learn the Ten Commandments, the most important phases that make black communities strive to end police brutality “ We want an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of black people, other people of color, and oppressed people.” As a father Maverick thought that teaching his children to conduct themselves accordingly when police officers are around, would prepare them for encounters with law enforcement. But the death of a young black teenage sparked feelings of loss and depression in Maverick’s daughter Starr.

Furthermore, Khalil Harris was a young black man who was killed in a police brutality encounter, officer One-Fifteen shot Khalil in front of his childhood best friend. Officer One-Fifteen then points the gun at Starr who is terrified until he is reassured backup is on his way. The pernicious effect of police brutality in Khalil's encounter shows that even teenagers are seen as a threat to law enforcement “ INNOCENCE TEENAGERS”. Khalil's death sparked riots and a huge effect on Garden Heights the town where he grew up then, the reasoning as to why Khalil’s life was lost to a hairbrush angered many folk in Garden Heights. When people suspected that Khaili was a drug dealer and that the cop got rid of one less drug dealer. Starr addresses this issue to the community saying with saying “ I want everyone to know that Khalil mattered too.” The death of Khalil didn't spark just a controversial protest against police brutality but a way for the media to bolster Officer Brian's character and justify his actions to killing Khalil.

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Social Justice in ‘The Hate U Give’ Essay. (2024, February 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
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