As usual, I’ve come to the party late, however, I’m here and I’ve paid attention. I’ve recently read the Young Adult novel, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This is an extraordinary novel. To prove it, it’s already been banned in more than one location in the United States. A book being banned only means that it will make you think, something too many people don’t want to do, especially if what you learn from it is in opposition to what it is that you may have been taught. The novel follows the life of Starr Carter, who by the age of sixteen has held two of her best friends in her arms as they lay dying after being shot. This is not only her story, but the story of too many. The poor, the over-looked, and the reviled.
For those of you who may not have read this novel, I hope that you will. Go out and buy it, or borrow it from your local library. It covers so much of the experiences of children growing up as part of a reviled people. The poverty, the inability to “rise above” due to lack of livable wages, poor education systems, and the grinding down of an entire segment of society. Poverty is hard. How can it not be when you are choosing between food and rent? We need to understand, choose compassion and help our neighbors. Only then will our country be better. Together we stand, divided, as we are, we are falling. And in this falling, it is all of us, not just a few of us. Everything is interconnected. We are all one.