Given that the novel To Kill a Mockingbird was written in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement (1960), it showed the reality of where the South stood in regards to Black rights. The setting, the Deep South, was a state that, at that time, practiced segregation. Given this fact, the novel itself properly depicted reactions and relationships between whites and blacks of the region.
Contextually, this is very important given that Atticus must be a pioneer for Tom, his children, and the prejudice seen in the novel. Atticus must try to teach his children, Scout and Jem, about the realities of prejudice and the importance of human rights.
The theme of hatred is defined through the hatred described by Bob Ewell. His prejudice lies so deeply within himself that he concocts a lie about Tom believing the South will find him guilty based solely on the color of his skin.