Award winning Jackson writer receives key to the city - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Award winning Jackson writer receives key to the city

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

From Jackson's Georgetown neighborhood, she was caught in the crossfire of a shootout, to Kensington Palace; that's where her book 'The Hate U Give' has taken award-winning writer Angie Thomas. Tuesday night she was the toast of her hometown.

This native of Jackson is making waves on the literary circuit and on the big screen.

"It's been an amazing journey," said Thomas. "It's been an amazing year."

Tuesday night Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba presented Angie Thomas with a key to the city. The first of his administration.

"To her, continued success as one of the phenomenal writers of our time," said Mayor Lumumba."

Thomas is a critically acclaimed writer. Her book, The 'Hate U Give' is a number one New York Times bestseller. It is based on her life in her Georgetown neighborhood.

"I remember being six years old at the park in Georgetown and there was a shootout and I, fortunately, I was unharmed," added Thomas. "My Mom actually took me to the library and she told the librarian I want her to see that there's more to the world than what she witnessed today and that moment changed my life."

Her mother Julia Thomas said she was determined to help her daughter see the bigger picture.

"I couldn't get to her right then because of the gunfire so I was like Lord keep my baby safe. I gave her to you," explained Julia Thomas.

Her book is now a movie. Filming finished in Atlanta in November.

"We have an amazing cast, Amandla Stenberg plays Starr, we have Regina Hall, we have Common, Issa Rae," said Thomas. "An amazing cast, Anthony Mackie."

Thomas is now hoping to bring one of the premieres to her hometown.

The 'Hate U Give' is also a finalist for the 2018 L-A Times National Book Award. Thomas still lives in Jackson and she is a Belhaven University graduate.

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