Last Tuesday the Black Student Union filled the Century Theater in Redwood City to screen The Hate U Give as part of a larger conversation around community policing and stereotypes. This screening aimed to educate students on societal hardships while also teaching activists the importance of finding their voice.
Sherinda Bryant, English teacher and advisor of the BSU, stated that the screening is a “big deal” as it is their “first time doing something like that.” The BSU invited students from BSUs at other schools like Sequoia High School and East Palo Alto Academy to the screening. The theater was almost full and the audience was clearly engaged, with cheers and gasps during the film’s important scenes.
The Hate U Give tells the story of an African-American woman and her fight to overcome societal injustice. The film features police brutality, gang violence, the damage that racial stereotypes can cause, and the importance of strong family bonds. However, Bryant noted that “as much as [the movie] is about bringing awareness about police brutality, I think that it is kind of a side-note to what [the main character’s] internal struggle was.”
Bryant also believes that The Hate U Give fits the BSU’s message. “The Black Student Union is always in a state of trying to find their voice as a collective group… So, the movie ties into that ‘finding your voice.’” She also affirmed that the movie emphasizes “being proud of your identity, where you come from, and using that to…spread knowledge, and everything to everyone else.”
M-A senior Mikaela Douglass said that the movie was “really good” and it “had a great message that kids now could understand and see how important it is to use your biggest weapon, that is your voice.” She added that the most notable element was “the relationships that the characters had, how they worked together or apart.”