The Hate U Give follows sixteen-year-old Starr after witnessing her unarmed best friend Khalil’s murder at the hands of a cop. The book has won the £5,000 Waterstones Book of the Year award.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and established to draw attention to the number of unarmed African Americans unlawfully killed by police, it takes its title from the late rapper Tupac Shakur, who said that the phrase Thug Life was an anagram for “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody.”
In this interview, Angie Thomas discussed the inspiration behind her novel: the 2010 killing of Oscar Grant and numerous other high profile deaths of unarmed black people. Thomas credits Tupac with the book’s title, calling the rapper her favorite due to his activism both through his music and his life, the same way Thomas hopes to use writing.
The book is a New York Times bestseller and was a finalist for the National Book Award last year, as well as winning the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fiction and the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Debut Goodreads Author. A film adaptation starring Amandla Sternberg is underway and is set for release later this year.
Check out the full interview below!
Featured Image Via Washington – San Jose