I have a love/hate emotion for this novel. Angie Thomas did a wonderful job writing and constructing this piece, which I love. I have hate for this novel because it is one of the view novels that was hard for me to get through. I found myself getting upset constantly. As an African American, I could understand all and relate to some of the factors of the book. Although the book is not about police brutality, it was in the top 3 things that was so hurtful. It was hurtful because it’s something we see frequently now. Shamefully, it’s something I have to fear because you may never know. Sadly, it’s something that we have to fear of and teach to our children. The aftermath of the killing was something that angered me a lot. The way the media portrays African Americans is sickening. Then the further victim blaming that occurred was very realistic. The media always take the road of slandering the victims( only the African Americans) as criminal to attempt giving sympathy to the real criminal.
Starr, I feel, has the worst position in the novel. Not only did she witness the situation. I felt as if no one was really there to help her but her parents. She was pressured a lot by her friends from both groups. She was pressured by the cops. She also pressured herself to try to be the person who was for everybody. She pressured herself the most to me because she often blamed herself. Sadly, one these situations that is what most people want everyone to believe. They want people that it’s the victim’s fault in those situations.
I feel ultimately that Angie hit every nail on its spot. I don’t know if she wrote from personal experience but I feel she wrote from experiences from African Americans as a whole.
2 thoughts on “T.H.U.G.”
**Andrew, I agree that this book was a tough read. It handled many topics that we face everyday, and then showed us the extremes of many situations. Starr did in fact have a rough go of it throughout the novel. Facing pressures within, following her internal struggle lead to an enthralling take on a social epidemic. I’m curious to know how you feel about her internal struggles. How she fought with Williamson Starr about who wanted a life away from the spotlight was something I personally related to a lot.
The biggest take away I had from this book is the way in which black people are affected by their communities. In Garden Heights, the first person to get killed is at the party, by a gang member. Starr then states that their pushing people and stepping on shoes as they ran away was a good way to catch bullets from someone too.
These statements show a shift in what’s expected within different cultures. I’ve never had to worry about stepping on shoes, bumping into someone, or looking at someone wrong because none of those things could get me shot. However, Starr accepts the fact that this is within her culture and must be vigilant in what she does.
Same as when her dad and the other residents “snitched” on King. This whole idea that telling the police that someone is harming you (with the fact that he is a gang leader) could but a target on your head or make you less accepted by your peers. These ideas damage communities and put a halt on progression for the people in their area. Culture shouldn’t define who you are – that’s the key when the community decided to tell the police about King. With that, the ideas of what is accepted in the culture and what’s not have changed for the better, and hopefully this will continue on.