REAL READS: THE HATE U GIVE
Lately, books have dared to take on the task of capturing modern society. The pen is proving to be a mighty sword. If this is the case then we saw Angie Thomas slay in the battle to relay some of our citizen ’s truths in her new book The Hate You Give.
The Hate is Real
Quickly, we are introduced to Starr Carter and her world in The Hate you Give. She attends the high school a town over- which happens to also be a lot wealthier. We join her navigation of two polar opposite worlds. One is filled with privilege and opportunity and the other with poverty and profiling.
The book illustrates the many faces Starr has to wear when navigating two worlds. At school, she refers to herself as “Williamson Starr”. This nod to the codeswitching when she is at Williamson High gives readers an inside look at a too familiar act.
While this book is a plethora of conversations and learnings (community dynamics, police brutality, discrimination, mindset development..) the focus on not being able to bring all of yourself to all your spaces really resonated with me. I think this is something that everyone can relate to. This idea of covering who you are to be accepted.
Covering… an action noun
The term “covering” was first talked about by Erving Goffman in his 1963 book, Stigma. He explains how various groups hide or downplay aspects of themselves so they don’t stick out. It emphasizes that each person has something that they “cover” in order to be accepted. When people are covering they admit to the characteristic in themselves but do everything in their give power to downplay it. For example, Franklin Roosevelt who used a wheelchair always put himself behind the desk before meetings. Starr similarly struggles to cover the reality of her home life. She makes sure she doesn’t sound to ghetto, dress too hood, and always responds with manners to leave no second-guessing of behavior. Don’t give them a reason. As we painfully read about the experiences Starr has navigated this we can’t help but also think to when covering was something in our own lives.
Our Own Covers
Each of us has a space that we have had to carefully navigate. We each have a number of f*cks we give when accounting how people view us. This affects how we approach our world. The Hate U Give dares Starr, her friends and family to show up in all of who they are no matter where they are in life. The book is a great reminder to stay true to our own selves as we navigate deep dynamics of life.
Need a modern realistic fiction? Check out The Hate U Give. Let us know what it made you think about your own coverings or potentially even your outlook on society!