Angie Thomas: Fighting “Hate” Through Storytelling

Best-selling author Angie Thomas wrote The Hate U Give to bring attention to racism and police brutality.

Best-selling author Angie Thomas wrote The Hate U Give to bring attention to racism and police brutality.

Molly Vincent, Writer

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Born, raised, and still living in Jackson, Mississippi, Angie Thomas, author of bestselling novel The Hate U Give, has created a platform for the sensitive topics of racism and police brutality to be openly and respectfully discussed.

From a young age, Thomas did not find herself fascinated with the common book series of many children her age, such as The Hunger Games and Twilight book series, solely because she could not relate to any aspect of the characters or storylines. Instead, she connected to rappers and the stories told through the music genre of hip-hop, leading her to pursue a rap career at the age of nine.

As Thomas grew older and attended college, her passion for activism fused with her desire to write. She began writing The Hate U Give, originally a short story, in one of her college college courses. Now a young adult novel, it raises awareness and sparking conversation about the racial injustices many people of color face today.

As Thomas watched the devastating and infuriating police brutality cases of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and others,  she used writing to deal with her emotions. Although at the start, her writing was a coping mechanism, she also wanted to write stories for others that would not only ignite change, but also allow people in similar situations to relate.

Thomas touches on extremely sensitive yet extremely important topics, acknowledging the difficult effects that may bring. She deems this necessary in order for people to understand the kinds of issues most people of color experience within today’s society, regardless of any negative responses. As a young adult author, Thomas says that she writes in hopes of raising awareness about the issues of racism, police brutality, and acceptance at a young age, in order to instill empathy for the leaders of tomorrow.