Right on! Amandla Stenberg stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE HATE U GIVE. Photo Credit: Erika Doss.

Don’t miss this poignant coming-of-age film which is based on a book by the same name,”The Hate U Give.”  In this film 16-year old Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) lives in Garden Heights, a working-class community with her close-knit family. Her father, Maverick (Russell Hornsby), is a reformed ex-gang member who grew up in Garden Heights and once served time in prison. Now, a family man and valued member of the community, Maverick owns the community grocery store. Starr’s mother ,Lisa (Regina Hall), a nurse, was also reared in Garden Heights, in a family that aspired more for its children through education, just as she does for her own. Half-brother Seven (Lamar Johnson) and younger brother Sekani (TJ Wright) complete the family. Dismayed by the academic achievements of schools in their community, and wanting to give their children better opportunities, Lisa and Maverick enroll Starr and her siblings in Williamson Prep School, a predominantly white school about forty minutes away.


What’s going on?  L-R: Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, Amandla Stenberg, and Common in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE HATE U GIVE. Photo Credit: Erika Doss.


In Garden Heights, Starr is Starr Version One. She is comfortable speaking the slang vernacular of her community, enjoys hip hop without feeling self-conscious, but fears being seen asacting “white.” At Williamson, Starr becomes Starr Version Two. There, she is constantly on guard not to appear or act too ‘hood.’ She refrains from speaking slang, even if the white kids do, her two best friends Hailey (Sabrina Carpenter) and Maya (Megan Lawless) are not black, and her boyfriend, Chris (K.J. Apa) is white.



Everything changes when Starr witnesses the shooting death of her childhood best friend, Khalil (Algee Smith) at the hands of a police officer during a traffic stop. As the sole witness, Starr must choose  between speaking up for Khalil, or remaining silent. Telling the truth could also endanger herself and her family by implicating King (Anthony Mackie), Garden Heights’ drug lordwho Khalil worked for. And, she worries about the Williamson community connecting her to Khalil’s death, and what they will think.


Locket talk between  KJ Apa and Amandla Stenberg,  Photo Credit: Erika Doss.

As her community cries out for justice for Khalil, and word spreads about Starr’s involvement, Starr finds herself navigating an increasingly volatile environment. Starr begins a journeyof self-discovery, one that will reveal powerful truths and realizations about herself and, where her true community lies.


In happier times, Amandla Stenberg and Algee Smith. Photo Credit: Erika Doss.



Based on the critically acclaimed New York Times Best Seller by Angie Thomas, the film stars Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby  Issa Rae, Algee Smith, with Common  and Anthony Mackie. This powerful story is directed by George Tillman Jr.