Amandla Stenberg and Algee Smith are set to star in the movie version of a popular teen book called The Hate U Give. Amandla plays a teenager named Starr who lives in the hood but goes to an all white school. She has a white boyfriend, white friends and a pretty “white” life at school.
At home is another story, her father is an former gang member who now runs the neighborhood corner store, her brother’s mother is dating the leader of the biggest gang in town, and her best friend back home just got caught up selling drugs to help his grandmother with bills after a bout with cancer. Starr, not wanting her school friends to know the life she leads, code switches to fit in with her white counterparts at school.
During a trip to Ontario for the Toronto International Film Festival, Xilla Valentine asked Amandla if she thought white people were aware that Blacks code-switched around them.
“I don’t think so I think it’s hard to conceptualize what that feels like, let alone observe it when you don’t know there is another side,” Amandla said.
Her co-star Sabrina Carpenter, reveals she didn’t know Black people code-switched, saying, “I’ll be honest, I didn’t. I knew it existed but I didn’t know it was so frequent and something that what always in your mind no matter where you go.”
The Hate U Give hits theaters everywhere October 5th, 2018