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Issa Rae is clearly having one of the best years ever…and she definitely deserves it! Not only is her critically-acclaimed and ratings hit show Insecure killing it in its second season, but she has also graced magazine covers, walked high-profile red carpets and been honored for her inspiring talent and vision. Now, she can add movie star to her resume, as she was just cast in the highly-anticipated film The Hate U Give.

Based on the popular Black Lives Matter-inspired novel, The Hate U Give is the upcoming film adaptation that stars Amandla Stenberg and Regina Hall (as Stenberg’s character’s mother.) The casting process has been ongoing for months, with Common and The New Edition Story’s breakout star Algee Smith recently signing on as well. Shadow and Act reports that Issa Rae has been cast in the drama as an activist who provides support to Stenberg’s character Starr.

The synopsis of The Hate U Give reads:

“The Hate U Give” tells the story of 16-year-old Starr (portrayed by Stenberg), who navigates between the poverty-stricken slum she has grown up in and the upper-crust suburban prep school she attends. Her life is up-ended when she is an eyewitness to a police officer shooting her best friend, Khalil (Smith), who turns out to have been unarmed during the confrontation – but may or may not have been a drug dealer. As Starr finds herself even more torn between the two vastly different worlds she inhabits, she also has to contend with speaking her truth and, in the process, trying to stay alive herself.

The novel was written by Angel Thomas, who was a student in Belhaven University’s creative writing program at the time she came up with the idea for The Hate U Give in 2011. It was originally written as a short story for her senior-year project, but it quickly expanded into a novel-length work. The title comes from a tattoo worn by Tupac Shakur (with the acronym T.H.U.G.)


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