"Our story is a reminder to never be afraid to raise our voice in the name of justice," director George Tillman Jr. tweeted

By Dana Rose Falcone
June 10, 2020 12:44 PM
Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter in The Hate U Give
ErikaDoss/20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

2018's The Hate U Give, a timely story about the impact of police brutality on the black community, will now stream for free on digital platforms.

The news comes as as non-black Americans continue to seek resources for educating themselves about the country's treatment of black people and its history of police brutality.

"Our story is a reminder to never be afraid to raise our voice in the name of justice," director George Tillman Jr. tweeted Tuesday. "We must stand up for what we believe. The time for change is now!"

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The Hate U Give, based on the Angie Thomas novel by the same name, sees high schooler Starr (Amandla Stenberg) witness the death of childhood friend Khalil (Algee Smith) at the hands of police, who justify shooting Khalil during a traffic stop because they confused the hairbrush he had in his car for a gun. As Starr and her peers fight for justice for Khalil, she butts heads with her white best friend (Sabrina Carpenter) over the situation and witnesses other incidents in which her family gets targeted because of the color of their skin.

RELATED VIDEO: Amandla Stenberg on How 'The Hate U Give' Taught Her How to "Stop Holding" Her Tongue

The Hate U Give — also starring KJ Apa, Common, Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie and Issa Rae — joins Just Mercy and Selma as movies about racial injustice that will be available to stream free this month amid ongoing protests sparked by George Floyd's death and against police violence.

Amandla Stenberg and Algee Smith in The Hate U Give.
Erika Doss

Thomas will also follow up her 2017 book with a prequel titled Concrete Rose that will go back 17 years before Kahlil's death and tell the story of Starr's dad (played by Russell Hornsby in the big-screen adaptation).

"I hope that young black people pick it up and they walk away feeling empowered," Thomas, 31, told PEOPLE. "I hope they walk away with a better understanding of themselves… Also, I hope that it gives other readers a better view of what it means to be a black person in America."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.