Angie Thomas’s “The Hate U Give” 2019’s selection
By Keldine Hull
Santa Monica Public Library’s free community reading program returns June 29. Sponsored by the Santa Monica Public Library, the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library and other community organizations, Santa Monica Reads invites the public to read and discuss the same book at different events throughout the city. This year’s selection is Angie Thomas’s “The Hate U Give,” a riveting story that centers around 16- year old Starr Carter, a key witness in the death of her best friend at the hands of a police officer. “The Hate U Give” draws attention to the marginalization of certain minorities, the racial injustices they face, and its impact on modern day society.
“The Hate U Give” was adapted into a feature length film last year and starred Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter, Regina Hall, and Russell Hornsby. Carolyn Ordonez, who also had a role in the film, spoke about the story’s impact and its undeniable relevance. “I was very affected and cried twice reading the script when I first received it. I felt honored to be part of such a powerful story.”
Ordonez added, “I loved Starr’s character. It was really important to show the realness of her experience growing up as a black girl in a white school, having to have two different versions of herself. I think the storytelling was eye opening to the experience of African- Americans. Hopefully ignorant eyes were opened.” There will be a screening of the film, nominated for 5 NAACP Image Awards, followed by a discussion with director George Tillman Jr. on Sunday, June 23 at 1:30pm at the Main Library’s MLK Jr. Auditorium.
Free copies of “The Hate U Give” and resource guide with information about the author and Santa Monica Reads events are currently available at all Santa Monica Public Library locations. Other Santa Monica Reads events include: Movie Discussion: Dear White People (2014), We Read Diverse Books, Author Talk: Ghettoside with Jill Leovy, Holler if Ya Hear Me: The Impact of Tupac Shakur, Movie and Discussion: Fruitvale Station (2013), and Blackout Poetry.
For more information, visit: smpl.org/SMReads.aspx