guest blog: T.H.U.G.

In the Media

This week, I’ve got a special treat for y’all: a guest blogger!

The lovely Savannah aka The Student Foodie is going to give her two cents on the new movie, The Hate U Give!

Image from

Spoiler alert: Savannah is not black, but I wanted to hear her perspective on a highly racial film so she and I can compare and contrast our thoughts after watching it.

I invite you to check out Savannah’s blog:
and without further adieu, here’s her take on T.H.U.G.!

Related image
Image from



Privilege test!

  1. When you were younger, did your parents give you:
    a) The Sex Talk
    b) The Traffic Stop Talk


  1. During a traffic stop you:
    a) Snapchat a picture of your speeding ticket to send to your friends with the caption “f*ck the police!”
    b) Fear for your life and use your phone to record evidence


  1. Have you seen someone die?
    a) No, the only death I’ve seen is on the big screen
    b) Yes, I’ve watched close friends get killed


If you answered A for all of the above, you are PRIVILEGED!

If you answered B, then your experiences resemble those of Starr Carter and the larger population of African-Americans represented in The Hate U Give (hyperlink to movie review:


Based on Angie Thomas’ YA novel and adapted for film by George Tillman Jr., The Hate U Give follows Starr, a young black girl who witnesses her friend Khalil, an unarmed black man, get shot and killed by a white police officer during a traffic stop. In other words, a typical American news headline.


Though, I was blown away by the film (my friends and I ugly cried the whole time), I was not surprised. If the police brutality, anti-black racism and overall injustice were shocking to you, then you are probably part of the problem, or at least complicit. In just two hours, Tillman Jr. paints a vivid picture of America’s racial division, touching on everything from the prison industrial complex to intra-community violence.


Here are a few key lessons from the film:

Code Switching is a “survival technique”

Like many POC, Starr adopts two different personas to adhere to her black and white worlds. When she is at home in her predominantly black neighbourhood, she acts one way and when she is at her predominantly white school, she adjusts herself to behave another. She exists in a state of suspension where she is often too white in her black community, but too black in her white school.


Racism isn’t always overt

As Starr said, racism isn’t confined to using the N word, or spraying black people with hoses.

More often than not, racism is internalized and expressed in more subtle ways like “jokingly” telling your black friend to eat fried chicken, or asking your Hispanic friend how they crossed the border (I’ve been asked this too many times to count).

Basically, don’t be this girl:

Image result for the hate u give hailey
Image from Daily Motion Video.


Black bodies are inherently political

Black bodies do not have the luxury of remaining apolitical. Black bodies are trained to be defensive from a young age. In the powerful opening scene, Starr and her brother, Seven are given the “traffic stop talk,” or how to not get killed in an encounter with the police. Most kids get the sex talk. At Khalil’s funeral, April points out that even when black people are unarmed, they are still armed because their blackness is perceived as a weapon. The colour blind ideology (“I don’t see colour”), that many well-intentioned white people possess also serves to further negate the real oppression POC have and continue to face. Starr said it best, “If you don’t see my blackness then you don’t see me.”


Final Thoughts

“I try to write fiction that’s rooted in reality, and the reality is even scarier than anything that I could write.” -Angie Thomas, author The Hate U Give


The film depicts enough brutality and injustice to provoke critical thought, but remains easily digestible to appeal to a wide range of viewers. While it cannot encompass the full extent of the oppression that exists in North America, the film offers insight into a perspective that has been historically and routinely silenced, but not for long.

3 thoughts on “guest blog: T.H.U.G.

    1. I know!
      Savannah did an amazing job conveying the emotion in this movie. I read the book and I (regrettably) still haven’t watched the film, but I am excited to do so!


  1. Wow Savannah! This is definitely one of my favourite posts that I have read this semester. The way you started your post with the privilege test was a fun way to get any reader to really self-evaluate which I think is so important. I really enjoyed reading your perspective on this movie and I definitely have to make sure I take the time to watch it. Although it does seem like a lot of crying would be done, I love that the story really seems like one of those things that makes you really question the world we live in. And it was amazing to see that even as a non-coloured person, you were able to really recognize the common themes outlined and relate them back to real life. Great post!


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