Race and identity


Starr, the main character of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomes, lives between two worlds: the poor, black neighborhood of Garden Heights and the wealthy, white environment of her school, Williamson. From the beginning of the novel, we learn that Starr doesn’t feel she fits in among her peers in Garden Heights: 

I shouldn’t have come to this party. I’m not even sure I belong at this party. That’s not on some bougie shit, either. There are just some places where it’s not enough to be me. Either version of me. (Chapter 1, 0%)

At school, however, Starr feels she has to hide her Garden Heights identity: 

I just have to be normal Starr at normal Williamson and have a normal day. That means flipping the switch in my brain so I’m Williamson Starr. Williamson Starr doesn’t use slang – if a rapper would say it, she doesn’t say it, even if her white friends do. Slang makes them cool. Slang makes her ‘hood’. Williamson Starr holds her tongue when people piss her off so nobody w...

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