Angie Thomas

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Angela Thomas
Angie thomas 9022008.jpg
Born 1988 (age 29–30)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater Belhaven University
Period 21st century
Genre Young adult fiction
Notable works The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas (born 1988)[1] is an American author who was born, raised and continues to live in Jackson, Mississippi. She wrote the young adult novel The Hate U Give and is set to release her second novel, On the Come Up in 2019. Although fiction, the goal of Thomas' work is to shine a light on the issue that many African-Americans in the United States face and to shed more light on the Black Lives Matter movement.


Angie Thomas was born in Jackson, Mississippi.[2] She grew up near the home of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers and recounted to Ebony magazine that her mother heard the gunshot that killed him.[2] When she was six years old, Thomas witnessed a shootout.[3] The day after the incident, her mother took her to the library to show her that the world wasn't all like what she saw then, and this inspired her to begin writing.[3] She is her mother's only daughter, but has many half brothers .[4]

Thomas earned a BFA[5] from Belhaven University, a predominantly white, private Christian college in Mississippi.[4] Thomas was the first black student to graduate in creative writing.[4] Thomas has identified the experience as influencing her writing.[6]


While Angie Thomas was a college student, she heard about the shooting of Oscar Grant in the news.[3] This story, combined with the stories of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, and Sandra Bland were major influences on her novel The Hate U Give.[3] Before The Hate U Give, Thomas had been writing in the fantasy genre but worried that her stories would not matter.[2] She spoke with one of her college professors, who suggested that her experiences were unique and that her writing could give voices to those in her world who had been silenced and whose stories had not been told.[2]

In an NPR interview, Thomas cited Tupac Shakur as inspiration.[7] She said that she felt a wide range of emotions when listening to his albums, 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."[7] The acronym from her book, The Hate U Give, or THUG was inspired by one of Tupac's tattoo which said THUG LIFE. Thug Life was also an acronym; this acronym stood for "The hate u give little infants f**ks everyone." Thomas wanted to incorporate this in her title but she could not use the entire acronym because it was too long and inappropriate for a YA book so she settled for just The Hate U Give, or THUG.[8] Thomas herself has cited experience with rap, her skills as a teen rapper having been the subject of an article in the magazine Right On!.[9]

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, in which Amandla Stenberg is set to star as Starr.[4][9]


  • The Hate U Give Harpercollins Childrens Books, 2017, ISBN 9780062498533, OCLC 990089279[3][10][11][12][9]
  • On the Come Up Harpercollins Children's Books, 2019, ISBN 9780062498564[13]

The Hate U Give[edit]

The Hate U Give, originally finished 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 it was released.[2][6] The Hate U Give was written, as Angie Thomas says, to bring light to the rather controversial issue of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.[6] 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, who was an unarmed black man shot at the hands of a police man. 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,[14] and a South Carolina police union requested the book's removal from a school's summer reading list, because of what the union considered an "indoctrination of distrust of police".[15]



  1. ^ "Angie Thomas [ USA ] – Biography". internationales literaturfestival berlin. 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  2. ^ a b c d e Philyaw, Deesha (2017-03-14). "One-on-One with 'The Hate U Give' Novelist Angie Thomas". Ebony. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  4. ^ a b c d 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 Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  5. ^ "The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, 2017 National Book Award Longlist, Young People's Literature". Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  6. ^ a b c "One-on-One with 'The Hate U Give' Novelist Angie Thomas - EBONY". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  7. ^ a b "'The Hate U Give' Explores Racism And Police Violence". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  8. ^ "Angie Thomas". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  9. ^ a b c Keane, Erin (2017-03-04). ""The Hate U Give": Angie Thomas' sensational debut novel should be required reading for clu..." Salon. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  10. ^ Cowles, Gregory (2017-07-07). "On Diversity in Publishing, a Young Star Warns: Get It Right". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  11. ^ "New YA sensation Angie Thomas: "Publishing did something pretty terrible. They made the assumption that black kids don't read"". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  12. ^ Diamond, Anna. "'The Hate U Give' Enters the Ranks of Great YA Novels". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  13. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "On the Come Up". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  14. ^ "'The Hate U Give' YA book banned in Texas school district - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  15. ^ Flood, Alison (3 July 2018). "South Carolina police object to high-school reading list". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Morris Award". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  17. ^ "Printz Award". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  18. ^ admin (2009-01-18). "The Coretta Scott King Book Awards". Round Tables. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  19. ^ Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018 Overall Winner: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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