Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut novel, The Hate U Give, about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. The Hate U Give not only has in it some of the most profound and honest writing about the Black Lives Matter movement, but also sports a bold cover that speaks to the nature and the stories of those affected by police brutality and racial discrimination in America. The breathtaking cover and it’s artist, Debra Cartwright, is nothing shy of extraordinary. Below learn more about the artist and inspiration behind The Hate U Give cover art.
Add The Hate U Give to your Goodreads shelf!
The Hate U Give Cover Art
“I am a huge fan of Debra Cartwright’s, so when I found out she was doing the artwork for the cover I was ecstatic. There is so much I love about it. It’s such a great depiction of Starr, right down to her natural hair and her sneakers. We don’t see black girls on covers nearly as much as we should, and I am honored that we do see a black girl, in all of her beauty, on mine.”- Angie Thomas
“It was a dream project to illustrate the cover of The Hate U Give. The multidimensional character Starr fell right in line with my purpose: painting to combat negative media tropes of black women.”—Debra Cartwright
At her core, Debra Cartwright is dedicated to spreading black girl magic. From flowers, to watercolor, to collage, to computers, she uses whichever medium necessary to make black women fall in love with themselves and to combat negative media tropes. Cartwright received her bachelor in Art History from University of Virginia then immediately attended Parsons School of design. Since then, she has impressively immersed myself in graphic design, web design, illustration, motion graphics and branding for top publications. Some of her clients include HBO Insecure, McDonalds, Condé Nast, People Magazine, and Essence. You can find her work at Debracartwright.com
Follow Debra Cartwright on Facebook • Instagram • Twitter
“While reading the manuscript, I had remembered a bold piece of Debra’s work that I had seen on Instagram. She has a striking sense of negative space and very timely imagery; I was excited to commission her to make a second piece for the back cover so we could play with black and white backgrounds. Debra knocked it out of the park and delivered powerful illustrations that leant themselves well to the book’s potent message.” – Jenna Stempel, Sr. Designer at HarperCollins
The inspiration behind the cover for The Hate U Give, much like the inspiration behind the story, stems from the Black Lives Matter movement. While the front jacket art tips its hat to protestors and activists holding up signs of racial equality, the back cover depicts a black hooded figure that reminds us all too much of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17 year old black boy who was gunned down by George Zimmerman in 2012. The murder of Trayvon Martin and is considered to be the inciting incident for the Black Lives Matter movement. As author Angie Thomas reminds us, it is rare to see images of black women and men depicted on the cover of well…. anything really. So celebrations are in order for this masterpiece!
More Work By Debra Cartwright
View this post on Instagram
I posted this awhile ago but the topics come up again. Why are some of us so affected by the patriarchy that we can't see respectability politics hurts everyone. Wear what you want. Someone somewhere is gonna call you a ho, girl. Just like Someone somewhere is gonna call you a thug, black man, no matter what you got on #bodiesarebeautiful #thisstartsrapeculture #feministisnotabadword #whatdecadeisthis
View this post on Instagram
#whatadoctorlookslike my mother has dealt with so much crap being a black woman doctor, the #tamikacross story is infuriating. A friend so eloquently used #Solange's words to describe this feeling "cuz doing it all ain't enough…man this shit is draining. But I'm really not allowed to be mad…gotta lot to be mad about"
What did you think of Debra Cartwright’s work? Tell us in the comments below!
Up Next: The Inspiration Behind The Hate U Give