I’ll be perfectly honest – I struggle as a white woman to fully understand what is going on in the Black community. And it’s not possible for me to do so because I cannot truly put myself in their shoes. But it doesn’t mean I am going to stop trying to understand. This book provided an incredible breakthrough for me, though.
The story is told from Starr’s point of view and is so well written that you really feel like you are in her head. You see everything that she sees, hear everything she hears, and closely follow her mental thought processes as they develop. I even could feel my own emotions changing with her emotions. I was so deeply engaged. It was a huge step on my personal journey to better empathizing with the Black community. I feel better equipped now to have some of those really important conversations, to listen and really understand.
I also think it is important to read a variety of books with differing cultures and backgrounds. I think it helps you to be a better person overall.
I think I also gained more insight into what school must have been like for my lifelong friend. She has alluded to private school not being as rosy for her as it was for me. But we haven’t reopened those wounds yet in conversation.
I did finally catch the movie a couple of weeks ago. That was also extremely powerful, though not quite as intense as the book. And they did whitewash some parts of the storyline. I have a feeling that if it was made now, just a few years later, the movie would have been more true to the book.
I want to read more of Angie Thomas’s books because I believe they will be just as eye-opening and powerful as this one.
Have you read any of them? What did you think?