During the BET Awards on Sunday night, those tuning in got a first look at the trailer for The Hate U Give, a highly-anticipated adaptation of the young adult book by Angie Thomas.
Thomas released The Hate U Give back in February 2017, and the book quickly received praise for drawing inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement to tell the story of a young black teen named Starr Carter, who witnesses the police fatally shooting her unarmed, childhood friend Khalil during a traffic stop.
Like the New York Times best-selling book, the trailer shows Starr trying to maintain a double life following the death of her friend. She flips between her home in the poor black community of Crenshaw Heights, and her affluent all-white high school, where she plays basketball, has a white boyfriend, and avoids doing anything that could be classified as “ghetto.”
In the film, Starr is portrayed by Amandla Stenberg. Starr’s parents are played by Regina Hall and Russell Hornsby, with Common taking the role of Starr’s uncle—a detective who has left Crenshaw for the cushy middle-class suburbs. Issa Rae plays an organizer, lawyer, and activist who helps represent Starr following the death of Kahlil.
The book and the film get their name from 2Pac’s acronym for Thug Life: “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone.” The book and film include more than a distillation of police shootings in America. In the trailer, we can see Hornsby's character become the victim of police brutality, Starr’s daily grappling with code-switching, the battle for justice against the police officer responsible for Khalil's death, how the media portrays black men, and the importance of community in the aftermath of tragedy.
The Hate U Give hits theaters on October 19. Watch the trailer above.