DIR: The Hate U Give

It’s connection day again, post DIR; seems like I always choose text-to-world. I’m reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas—a highly acclaimed “Black Lives Matter” novel. It recently received its eighth star review in the literary world.

At today’s point in the novel, Starr (the protagonist) is wondering why her best friend at school seems so distant now and thinks back to when Hailey started to drift away.

Quote:

“Plus she unfollowed my Tumblr.

She has no clue that I know. I once posted a picture of Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old black boy who was murdered for whistling at a white woman in 1955…Hailey texted me immediately after, freaking out.”

The irony in Thomas’ inclusion of this event is that the woman who accused Emmett Till of whistling at her recently acknowledged she lied about the incident, ALL THESE YEARS LATER. I wonder, if this information had been revealed before or during Thomas’ writing process, would she have still used this particular example to drive the point that Hailey was so disturbed and angered by Starr’s choice to use Till’s photo on her blog? What would have been the alternate image?

I can’t help but also relate this to the news that departments at my alma mater, including the one from which I received my information sciences degree, recently pulled their sponsorship of a lecture by an assistant professor at Morgan State University solely based on the title—”How Killing Black Children is an American Tradition.”

What message are we sending when we try to censor a journalism professor based on title alone because (the) words have too much “power?” What message are we sending when we criticize our “friend” (as Hailey does in THUG) for exposing history because it looks “awful?”

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