|Born||1988 (age 30–31)|
|Alma mater||Belhaven University|
|Genre||Young adult fiction|
|Notable works||The Hate U Give , On the Come Up|
Angie Thomas was born in Jackson, Mississippi. She grew up near the home of assassinated civil rights activist Medgar Evers, and has stated that her mother heard the gunshot that killed him. When she was six years old, Thomas witnessed a shootout. The following day, her mother took her to the library to show her that "there was more to the world than what [Thomas] saw that day", which inspired her to take up writing.
While Thomas was a college student, she heard about the shooting of Oscar Grant in the news. This story, compounded by the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Sandra Bland were major influences on her novel The Hate U Give. Before The Hate U Give, Thomas had been writing in the fantasy genre, but worried that her stories would not matter. She spoke with one of her college professors, who suggested that her experiences were unique and that her writing could give a voice to those who had been silenced and whose stories had not been told.
Thomas cites Tupac Shakur as inspiration for her writing. She felt a wide range of emotions when listening to his music, and wanted to achieve a similar effect as a writer: "I want to make you think at times; I want to make you laugh at times; I want to make you cry at times – so he was an influence in that way." She has explained that the title of her book The Hate U Give was inspired by Tupac's THUG LIFE tattoo, which was supposedly an acronym for "The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone". Thomas understands that to mean "that what society feeds into youth has a way of coming back and affecting us all". Thomas' own skills as a teen rapper were the subject of an article in the magazine Right On!.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Thomas stated that she aims to "show truth and tear down stereotypes" in her writing and goes further to say that it is important for the white community to listen to the grievances of the Black Lives Matter movement. After its publication, The Hate U Give was optioned for a film adaptation by Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg.
The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give, originally written as a short story, debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for young adult hardcover books within the first week of its release. The Hate U Give was written, as Thomas says, to bring light to the controversial issue of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. In summary, this book tells the story of a girl named Starr Carter and how her life is impacted by the death of her friend, Khalil, an unarmed black teen shot by a white police officer. The Hate U Give deals with the effect of police brutality on the communities of those around the victim.
In 2018, the Katy Independent School District in Katy, Texas removed the book from its shelves after complaints over profanity, and a South Carolina police union requested the book's removal from a school's summer reading list, because of what the union considered "almost an indoctrination of distrust of police."
On the Come Up
Thomas' second book On the Come Up was released in February 2019. Thomas wrote the book so she could discuss the costs tolled on minorities and women when they do speak-up. The book tells the story of a teen rapper who becomes a viral sensation and the way that this distorts and changes who she is. It takes place in the same fictional universe as The Hate U Give.
The book was a bestseller.
Angie Thomas has received several major awards for her work, including:
- 2015 Walter Grant from We Need Diverse Books
- 2018 William C. Morris Award for The Hate U Give
- 2018 Michael L. Printz Award Honor for The Hate U Give
- 2018 Coretta Scott King Award Honor for The Hate U Give
- 2018 Amnesty CILIP Honour for The Hate U Give
- 2018 Waterstones Children's Book Prize for The Hate U Give
- 2018 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis for the German edition of The Hate U Give (translated by Henriette Zeltner)
- The Hate U Give (2017)
- On the Come Up (2019)
- "Angie Thomas [ USA ] – Biography". internationales literaturfestival berlin. 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
- Philyaw, Deesha (2017-03-14). "One-on-One with 'The Hate U Give' Novelist Angie Thomas". Ebony. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
- Hirsch, Afua (2017-03-26). "Angie Thomas: the debut novelist who turned racism and police violence into a bestseller". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
- "The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, 2017 National Book Award Longlist, Young People's Literature". nationalbook.org. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
- Mesure, Susie (2017-04-11). "New YA sensation Angie Thomas: 'Publishing did something pretty terrible. They made the assumption that black kids don't read'". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
- "'The Hate U Give' Explores Racism And Police Violence". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
- Keane, Erin (2017-03-04). "'The Hate U Give': Angie Thomas' sensational debut novel should be required reading for clueless white people". Salon. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
- Locke, Kaitlyn (2017-12-02). "'The Hate U Give' pulled from Texas school district's shelves". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
- Flood, Alison (2018-07-03). "South Carolina police object to high-school reading list". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
- Arreola, Cristina. "'The Hate U Give' Started A Conversation. Angie Thomas Hopes It Continues With Book Two". Bustle. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
- "Young Adult Hardcover Books - Best Sellers - April 7, 2019 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
- "We Need Diverse Books Announces the winners of the 2016 WNDB Walter Grants". We Need Diverse Books. 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
- "2018 Morris Award". Young Adult Library Services Association. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
- "Michael L. Printz Winners and Honor Books". Young Adult Library Services Association. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
- "A Great Day for CSK!". CSK Blog. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
- "Geraldine McCaughrean scoops second CILIP Carnegie Medal 30 years after first win and champions triumph of 'literary' fiction". The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
- "Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2018". Waterstones. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
- "Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis für Roman über das Aufwachsen in der DDR". Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk. Retrieved 2019-03-14.