Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas

American author Angie Thomas was born in Jackson, Mississippi, very near to the home of Medgar Evers, the assassinated civil rights activist. At the age of six, Thomas was witness to a shooting. Thomas explains that her mother brought her to the library the very next day to show her that the world was larger than what she had experienced. This sparked an interest in creative writing which Thomas would go on to study at Belhaven University where she would be the first black student at the private Christian college to graduate with a degree in creative writing. Prior to her matriculation at Belhaven, Thomas was a teen rapper whose career was covered in a feature in "Right On" magazine. Though she initially started writing in the fantasy fiction genre, Thomas felt compelled to write something about violence in the wake of the shootings of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice and many others who died at the hands of the police. In 2017 her debut novel The Hate U Give was released. Within a week of its release it was at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list for YA hardcover books. The book was later optioned and turned into a movie starring Amandla Stenberg. Thomas's follow up book, On the Come Up explored the effects of social media and institutionalized racism on minorities and women.