25 Best Quotes From The Hate U Give


  • The Hate U Give
    tackles racism and racial inequality with insightful observations and compelling perspectives.
  • Starr struggles with maintaining her authentic self and feels the pressure to conform to fit in.
  • The movie highlights the importance of speaking out against injustices and standing up for what is right.



The best The Hate U Give quotes showcase the powerful and timely messages at the center of the acclaimed adaptation. Based on the book of the same title written by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give is the story of Starr (Amandla Stenberg), an African-American teen who witnesses a friend being fatally shot by police and faces the pressures of speaking out and standing for justice. It is a story that has only become more relevant since the movie was first released in 2018, meaning many of the most powerful The Hate U Give quotes still resonate with viewers.

Much like the original Angie Thomas novel, The Hate U Give tackles the impact of racism and racial inequality on communities, mainly due to corrupt and indifferent law enforcement, with insightful observations and compelling perspectives. Starr’s journey in the movie is filled with difficult decisions, danger, bravery, and even a little humor, all of which fuel the thought-provoking lines that come from her and the people in her life. The result is a collection of poignant quotes that stick with the audience long after the credits roll.

Amandla Stenberg and Sabrina Carpenter in The Hate U Give
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25 “We’ve Been Together Our Whole Lives, Starr. We Got Time.”


Algee Smith as Khalil talks to Amandla Stenberg as Starr driving in a car in The Hate U Give. Algee Smith as Khalil in 2018’s The Hate U Give.

The Hate U Give is the kind of movie that emotionally destroys the audience, largely thanks to quotes like this from Khalil (Algee Smith) moments before tragedy strikes. Though his screen time in the movie is brief, he holds a strong presence and is very much the heart of the story.

That would not have been possible without this early scene in the movie that highlighted the deep connection Khalil and Starr share. After meeting up at a party and reconnecting, Khalil and Starr find themselves talking in his car about their childhood adventures together before Khalil kisses her.

Somewhat torn, Starr tells him that she has a boyfriend now. While he is disappointed, Khalil also suggests that there is plenty of time for them to have their romance together. Sadly, this marks some of his last lines in the movie and the fateful shooting robs him and Starr of whatever future they might have made together.

24 “I Turned My Back On All Of My People. Do You Even Know What That’s Like?”

Starr Carter

KJ Apa and Amandla Stenberg talking in the school hallway in The Hate U Give KJ K.J. Apa and Amandla Stenberg in The Hate U Give

For the most part, Chris (KJ Apa) and Starr have a wholesome relationship. He truly cares about her and showcases it throughout the film. However, before Khalil’s death, Chris had only seen one side of Starr, which is the one she dubbed “Williamson Starr.”

She explains to him that because she is one person at school and another at home, she never feels like her true self. Starr feels like she turned her back on those who she was raised with, which crushes her emotionally.

The duality that Starr struggles with is one of the most interesting aspects of The Hate U Give, and something she’s forced to deal with more and more as her two worlds collide. She begins to feel alienated on both sides with her feeling she’s betrayed the community she came from as well as feeling the more affluent community she’s a part of doesn’t understand that struggle.

23 “If You Don’t See My Blackness, You Don’t See Me.”

Starr Carter

Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter laughing in The Hate U Give.

Another interesting element of The Hate U Give is the way it addresses the flawed views some people can have who insist they are allies. One example of this is with Chris who seems to have his heart in the right place but can be ignorant at times, such as suggesting to Starr that race is no longer as big of a deal as she thinks.

Starr points out the problematic aspect of Chris not seeing her as Black.

While trying to comfort her about the struggles she is going through and the idea that he doesn’t understand her, he insists that he doesn’t see race when he looks at her. While this is often used to describe acceptance, Starr points out the problematic aspect of Chris not seeing her as Black. She is proud of her culture and wants those who care about her to understand her as a young Black woman rather than insisting they “don’t see race.”

22 “Williamson Starr Doesn’t Give Anyone A Reason To Call Her Ghetto. And I Hate Myself For Doing It.”

Starr Carter

Starr walks the halls in Hate U Give

Starr explains to the audience that she basically splits herself into two different versions of herself to make her life in two separate communities work. Due to the harrowing things she experienced growing up, Starr’s parents send her to a private school where she is one of only a few Black students. She adopts her Williamson Starr personality, which is a more preppy version of herself so nobody there can consider her “ghetto.”

The notion of Starr needing to suppress certain aspects of her personality in order to make those around her more comfortable is a heartbreaking look at how many minority groups often feel when trying to “fit in.” Starr points out that although this is what she does, she actually hates herself for it because she’s not being her authentic self and it is another betrayal of her community.

21 “If I Had Told Everybody, I Would’ve Been ‘Poor Starr’ Who Saw Her Friend Get Killed.”

Starr Carter

Amandla Stenberg as Starr looking worried in The Hate U Give.

The struggle Starr faces in coming forward as the person who saw Khalil killed is examined through a variety of aspects in both of the communities that Starr belongs to. Though she wants to see justice done for her friend who was murdered, she also knows that there are consequences for letting the world know what she witnessed.

There is the danger she faces in speaking out, the pressure she would face being the voice of a social movement, and there is also the trauma she will carry with her for the rest of her life. It is a heartbreaking truth that Starr explains to Chris when explaining why she has not spoken up. Starr doesn’t want to be looked at as a victim or a “charity case” as it further robs her of the identity she already has to hide.

20 “What About In My Hand?”

Starr Carter

Amandla Stenberg and Sabrina Carpenter in The Hate U Give

Throughout Starr’s arc in this coming-of-age movie, her desire to fit into her more affluent school community conflicts with the anger and frustration she feels over Khalil’s murder. This is especially seen in her relationship with Hailey (Sabrina Carpenter).

While Hailey was initially seen as a good yet clueless friend of Starr’s, her comments over the shooting make it clear to Starr that she doesn’t understand her world at all. Hailey even goes so far as to suggest the shooting of Khalil was justified because the hairbrush that was in the young man’s hand looked like a weapon.

This is a moment that sends Starr over the edge with her frustration as she grabs a hairbrush and questions if it now looks like a weapon in her hand because she is Black. It is a moment of Starr understanding that Hailey and others do see her as different, even if they don’t admit it.

19 “Know Your Rights. Know Your Worth.”

Maverick Carter

Maverick looking serious while talking to his children in The Hate U Give

Among the most important people in Starr’s life, her father, Maverick Carter (Russell Hornsby), has some of the best advice which makes for some of the best The Hate U Give quotes. Maverick is very practical when he sits down with his young children to explain to them how to behave when interacting with the police.

It’s a powerful scene when his young kids, Starr and Seven, along with the baby Sekani, sit at the dining table paying close attention to their father. While Maverick wants to have as safe of a life as possible for his kids, he also knows he has to prepare them for the realities of the world.

However, he also ensures that they go into this life with pride, teaching them the Black Panther’s Ten-Point Program which gives the children the strength to stand up for their rights and themselves.

18 “Their Cuteness Can Be Extra, But They’re Adorable.”

Starr Carter

Russell Hornsby and Regina Hall looking concerned in The Hate U Give

One of the key elements of The Hate U Give is that Starr has so much love in her life, even if she faces difficult situations. In one of the lighter scenes early in the movie, Starr’s voice-over discusses her parents and the fact that few people thought they would work out. Decades later, Starr’s mom and dad are together and still very much in love.

There are moments of struggle between the couple, with Starr’s mom wanting them to escape the violent world they live in and her dad insisting they are part of the community, but the love they share is always obvious. It is a charming moment of Starr being playfully annoyed yet also admiring the relationship her parents have. Though she is an independent and strong young woman, the powerful team of her parents is key to her becoming that way.

17 “So When I’m Here, I’m Starr Version 2.”

Starr Carter

The two versions of Starr that she has to adopt in her life are introduced early in the story, but it becomes clear that the facade she puts up in school will eventually have to come down. As Starr explains the version of herself at Williamson, it is as if she is describing a totally different person, showing the disconnect she has from this side of herself.

Starr even admits at one point that there are moments in which she feels like she wants to embrace this version of herself completely. However, whenever she is able to be in her community and with the people she grew up with, she remembers that her school self is not her true self.

While it presents tension early on in The Hate U Give due to Starr trying to maintain that personality without it faltering, seeing her choose to embrace her true self is a powerful catharsis later in the story.

16 “Slang Makes Them Cool. Slang Makes Me Hood.”

Starr Carter

Chris walking down the hallway in The Hate U Give

Many of the best The Hate U Give quotes touch on the subtle racism and ignorance that exists in everyday life for Starr. She silently deals with the frustrations of the people in her school taking aspects of the Black community for their own entertainment while also ignoring the more difficult aspects.

She also understands that if she were to embrace her Black culture around them, it would not be perceived in the same “cool” way. Starr version 2 is very adamant that she will not say anything that a rapper might. She understands that her more privileged white friends can appropriate Black culture without facing any consequences.

However, she also knows that if she were to talk in that manner, she’d be perceived very differently. The movie expertly uses these small situations to draw out the further struggles Starr has to put up with.

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15 “Well, You Ask Questions About What Happened.”

Lisa Carter

Amandla Stenberg and Regina Hall in an interrogation in The Hate U Give

The interrogation scene immediately after Khalil’s death is quite painful to watch as it quickly shows the narrative that the police are attempting to create in regard to the shooting. It’s even more painful when the officers interrogating Starr only ask questions about Khalil — his drinking habits, his drug habits, and so on. All the while, they never mention the police officer or ask Starr what he was doing in the situation that left an unarmed young man dead.

Both Starr and her mother, Lisa (Regina Hall), angrily react to the police officer’s tactics, with Lisa pointing out that they aren’t interested in the truth about what happened but rather cementing their version of events. This scene very succinctly captures how narratives are formed and that the law doesn’t always pursue the true version of events.

14 “Shine Your Light. I Ain’t Name You Starr By Accident.”

Maverick Carter

Starr and Maverick talking in her bedroom in The Hate U Give

Though he can be tough and even intimidating at times with his intensity, Maverick is one of the best movie dads. He is a strong role model for Starr, Seven (Lamar Johnson), and Sekani (TJ Wright). The situation Starr finds herself in is a complicated one for her to contend with and she is unsure of what is the right thing to do. She is the sole witness in a murder of the kind that usually goes unseen.

While she knows she is in a position to make a difference, she is understandably scared about the consequences of coming forward in such a way. Instead of pressuring her one way or another, Maverick simply reminds Starr of who she is and who he raised her to be, reminding her the right choice was within her the whole time.

13 “Daddy Says Our Life Is Here ‘Cause Our People Are Here.”

Starr Carter

Maverick talking to his kids in front of their house at night in The Hate U Give

The community Starr lives in plays a pivotal role in The Hate U Give. There are many ways that the community comes together to help each other, but there are also dangerous elements to how Starr and her family live.

Maverick recognizes those aspects, which is why he sends Starr to a better school outside their community. However, he also insists the family stay in their community and with people who understand them. There are times in which Lisa insists that the family would be better off if they moved as the community can be violent at times.

Despite the ways their community creates struggles for them, Maverick’s point of feeling comfortable with their neighbors is reflected in how Starr struggles with feeling like an outsider in her school. In the end, it is embracing the community around them that gives Starr a lot of the strength she needs.

12 “Chris? What Kind Of Plain Ass Name Is That?”

Maverick Carter

Russell Hornsby as Maverick looking confused in The Hate u Give

Though Maverick is a wise and intelligent man, he can also be somewhat close-minded, especially when it comes to the boys his daughter brings home. In one of the lighter scenes in the movie, Maverick doesn’t even try to hide his disapproval at Starr bringing home Chris, a white boyfriend. While Lisa is very welcoming and kind, Maverick doesn’t even try to hide his judgment nor is he interested in offering any warmth to Chris.

After a tense meeting with the young man in which he openly questions Starr’s choice of dating a white boy, Maverick confronts the rest of the family and learns he is the only one who didn’t know about this already. The funniest moment comes as Maverick criticizes Chris’ name, looking for any and all reasons to further dislike the young man.

11 “Mac And Cheese, Full Meal Or Side Dish?”

Seven Carter

Chris and Starr dressed for prom in The Hate u Give

Despite being a very intense story, The Hate U Give also features some lighthearted moments that can still comment on things like race in interesting ways. Again, it is in the scene where Chris comes to meet Starr’s family that the movie delivers some of its biggest laughs.

Before going into the house, Chris is confident that he is in tune with Black culture enough to impress the family, but Seven decides to quiz him on this. After answering one food-related question correctly, Starr is disappointed to see Chris incorrectly guess that mac and cheese is meant for a full meal rather than just a side dish.

She is further embarrassed for him when he suggests adding breadcrumbs on top. It is a funny moment that also comments on the fact that, while people can enjoy each other’s cultures, there are some aspects that they simply won’t understand.

10 “Where You Live Does Not Define Who You Are, Maverick.”

Lisa Starr

Starr and Khali talking at a party in The Hate U Give

Starr’s parents, Maverick and Lisa, are such a good team because they can challenge each other without compromising their marriage. While Maverick is the one who teaches his children lessons and gives them guidance, Lisa is also there to tell him the things he needs to hear. Sometimes their ideas for what is best for the family clash. When Starr is threatened by a local gang, Lisa wants the family to move.

In contrast to his insistence that they stay in their community, Lisa reminds him that where he lives does not need to define him. It is a way the movie reflects two sides of the same complex idea. Lisa is the voice of reason, counseling both Starr and Maverick’s anxiety about being outside their comfort zone. It is not really about which parent is right but rather that they both have valid points.

9 “I Wanna Be A Better Friend For Khalil.”

Starr Carter


When Khali dies, it is sadly not the first time that Starr has seen someone killed. Her friend Natasha had also died in front of her when they were younger. Starr didn’t speak up for Natasha back then even though she knew who the person who killed Natasha was.

Even at that young age, she was aware that there were risks to being a witness to such a thing. Regardless of how young she was, it is something that has filled Starr with guilt over the years.

The fear she had back then returns when she is put in a similar position following Khali’s death, but she feels this time she has to speak up and make sure she is a better friend to Khalil. The guilt and trauma Starr feels is unfair, but the bravery she has allows her to deal with the past tragedy she had not yet addressed.

8 “Don’t Ever Let Nobody Make You Quiet.”

Maverick Starr


Another way in which the movie shines a light on the complexities of Starr’s situation comes from the consequences of her choosing to speak up, especially when it comes to repercussions from King (Anthony Mackie) and his gang. Starr begins to regret it and the trouble it causes with it not only putting her own life in danger but also her loved ones. Maverick then makes sure his kids are reminded of the lessons he gave them.

He reminds Starr and her brothers that no matter what happens, they should never let anybody intimidate them into silence. He tells them that they are “his reasons to live and reasons to die.” It’s another powerful lesson that Starr carries with her in her difficult journey to see justice done while also understanding that there will be consequences.

7 “How Many Of Us Have To Die Before Y’all Get It?”

Starr Carter


The dramatic tension is at a peak in this scene when Maverick and King confront each other in the street only for young Sekani to get his hands on a gun and aim it at King in an attempt to protect his father.

The situation becomes even more tense when the police arrive and confront the young boy with the gun. Just as the situation looks as though it might build into another tragedy, Starr steps in between the police and her brother and delivers this pointed question.

It is a heartbreaking moment to see this young girl who has witnessed so much violence in her life wondering what it will take to finally stop. It is one of the most powerful moments in The Hate U Give and cements the heroic nature Starr has had inside throughout.

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6 “She Swore Raising The Dead Was More Likely Than Mama And Daddy Making It.”

Starr Carter

Maverick talking to young Starr and Seven in The Hate U Give

This The Hate U Give quote comes early on in the movie as Starr explains how her parents met and eventually fell in love. The story follows the novel in terms of what both of her parents overcame in order to create such a beautiful family and have a successful life, and this line reflects Starr’s admiration for them both.

Lisa was pregnant with Starr at an early age and her family did not think Maverick was a worthy partner for her. Yet they ignored those who said they wouldn’t work and proved them wrong. There are key phrases in this quote, such as Starr saying that they “stay proving her (Starr’s nana) and everybody else wrong,” which echo the bigger picture of racial injustice and how Starr, ultimately, proves the entire world wrong, starting with her own community.

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