Based on Angie Thomas’ award-winning book about an African American teen who witnesses the fatal police shooting of a close friend, The Hate U Give deals frankly and powerfully with race and activism. It touches on everything from how class and privilege affect the way we see law enforcement and race in America, to standing up for what you believe in, being proud of who you are, and communicating honestly with your parents and friends—all of which means there’s plenty for families to talk about after watching this Common Sense Seal-honored film. As co-star Regina Hall, who plays loving mom Lisa Carter says, “I hope audiences talk about resources and support systems and the importance of family … How family, love, structure, commitment impacts kids—it’s so important.”
Try these discussion questions for teens, too:
- How does the movie deal with racism/issues related to race? Are lessons learned? If so, how would you describe them? What do you think Lisa means when she says that “white folks want diversity but not too much diversity”?
- How realistic is the movie’s violence? What techniques do filmmakers use to create realistic violence as opposed to fantasy violence? Which has greater impact?
- How do the characters display courage and compassion through their words and actions? How do they demonstrate communication? Why are these important character strengths?
- Phones play a significant role in the story, both for communication and recording important events. How does Starr’s phone give her power in a situation where she otherwise wouldn’t have any? What do you think about how much time kids—and adults—are spending on devices?
- If you’ve read the book: What did you like most about the movie, and what, if anything, did you miss?