The Hate U Give is the #BlackLivesMatter movie you need + other books about injustice and inequality

Image credit: 20th Century Fox / You Tube
Image credit: 20th Century Fox / You Tube

Recently at the BET awards, Amandla Stenberg and Regina Hall introduced audiences to the trailer for The Hate U Give, the up and coming movie about police brutality against unarmed black citizens. 

The book is based on the bestselling novel by Angie Thomas and chronicles the story of 16-year-old Starr who witnesses the shooting of her unarmed best friend at the hands of a white police officer.

The trailer, which features Amandla in the lead role and also stars the phenomenal Issa Rae, will give you goosebumps – watch it below.

When I reviewed this book last year, I said that this is “a novel that sums up what it’s like for black communities to constantly deal with the systematic, insidious and hate-fuelled oppression they’ve been dealing with since the dawn of civilisation, and it’s one that I’m fairly sure will be eye-opening to many, even those who consider themselves the staunchest Black Lives Matter allies.”

We have high hopes for this important movie. It may be a reflection of American society, but the story featured is one that echoes across many nations – particularly here in South Africa, where racism and injustice still forms a massive part of our fabric.

The more we talk about it, the more we can acknowledge and address it. 

Yes, it feels to many like the subject is constantly harped on about, but I often find that it’s so easy for people to complain about hearing too much about something that doesn’t affect them when others have to live injustice every single day. 

And right now, no matter how educated we think we’re on a subject, there’s always room to expand our knowledge.

Here’s a roundup of books that tackle various forms of social inequalities and injustice that we would like to recommend:

Let My People Go by Albert Luthuli

The blurb of the book reads: “Luthuli’s lively first-hand account tells of the repression and resistance that were to shape the South African political landscape forever: the Defiance Campaign - the first mass challenge to apartheid, the drafting of the Freedom Charter, the Treason Trial and the tragedies of Sharpeville and Langa.”

Buy a copy from

Sorry Not Sorry by Haji Mohamed Dawjee

We’ve been seeing some tremendous and awesome reads from South African women lately. A collection of essays you need to get your hands on is, Sorry Not Sorry, by columnist and author Haji Mohamed Dawjee. 

In her book Dawjee tackles a variety of issues important in South Africa’s landscape and delves into them through the perspective of a brown woman, without sugar coating anything.

Like our reviewer says: “It’s an exceptional compilation that engages in white supremacy across linguistic, cultural, and economic factors. It’s almost a sobering look at the undercurrent of white privilege in South Africa and how it formed a brown woman’s self-worth growing up.”

Read the full review here:

The Ones That Disappeared by Zana Fraillon

A heartbreaking novel about child trafficking and slavery, The Ones That Disappeared tells the story of three children desperate for freedom after being captured by a ruthless gang. But escape doesn’t always mean freedom is around the corner and courage can be hard won when it feels as if there’s no one to trust.

Using elements of magical realism, Zana Fraillon tells a story that so often doesn’t get nearly enough attention. 

The gruelling and compelling story of a young girl desperate to be reunited with a friend after making her escape doesn’t make for easy reading, but it’s certainly important in that it highlights the ugliness and inhumane cruelty of human trafficking.

Buy a copy of the book here

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay 

A compilation of important essays that tackles what it means to live in a world where women constantly have to deal with living in danger, harassment, rape and assault.  

This important read covers accounts on the rape crisis and the epidemic we’re facing worldwide and includes first-hand accounts of harrowing molestation and rape and is at once deeply personal and heartbreaking. 

Everyone should read this.

Buy a copy here

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