How is Tupac connected to the novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Angie Thomas's novel The Hate U Give addresses modern-day racial issues that commonly occur in both white and African American communities by telling the story of Starr, an African American girl who struggles between her two "worlds" while also dealing with the unjust shooting of her childhood friend by a white police officer at the beginning of the novel. Therefore, it is not surprising that Thomas would allude to people who discussed similar problems in American society. One such person was Tupac.

Tupac had a tattoo on his torso that read "THUG LIFE." Rather than this tattoo meaning what most people would assume, which is that Tupac was supporting the lifestyle of criminals, Tupac actually got the tattoo as an acronym. For him "THUG LIFE" stood for "The Hate U Give Little Infants F**** Everybody." This interpretation is clearly laid out in the novel by Starr's friend Khalil just a few pages before he is wrongfully killed. Thomas uses this saying effectively in the novel, because its meaning points to her overarching theme, which is that any hate that exists between the races is both dangerous and damaging in the worst of ways. As Starr grapples with the grief and anger over her friend's death, she comes to realize that her voice is needed if she is to change the perpetuation of such hate.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial