Best selling author Angie Thomas encourages students to be activ - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Best selling author Angie Thomas encourages students to be activists

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It was exactly one year ago that Jackson native Angie Thomas' first novel hit the bestseller list, just one day after its debut.

After traveling the world she returns to her hometown to urge the next generation to use their voices for activism.

"Get involved, create the change you want to be and most importantly be that light in the darkness," Thomas told an audience at the Jackson State University Student Union.

Georgetown product Angie Thomas' words rang in the ears of high school, college students and adults who gathered to listen to the wisdom of the writer who made the New York Times Best Seller List with her debut novel.

It was a discussion on "Finding Your Activism and Turning the Political into the Personal".

'The Hate U Give' tells the story of a teenager in the inner city of Jackson who witnessed a tragedy that changes her life.

It is a tale she hopes will to inspire the next generation.

"I want them to know that it's possible for them to make changes in their community and in the world," said Thomas. "They can make changes right here in Jackson. I don't think young people realize how much power they have. So for me, I want to encourage them to use that and to recognize that they have a voice because that's the heart of activism".

The 30-year-old answered questions about the book and her new adventures.

JSU freshman Tyler Hurley wants to be an attorney and writer.

"We as young people nowadays we have a lot of stuff that needs to be done especially in today's climate," said Hurley. "So we have a voice, and we should use it basically that's what I took from her speech".

The Fort Lauderdale resident read the book and connected with the symbolism Thomas used throughout it.

"Witnessing her in the workshop really opened my eyes to like it is possible for someone like me to write a book for little boys and little girls to read my work and actually connect," added Hurley.

There were more encouraging words for students and fans alike during a book signing that followed at the COFO Center.

Thomas is also writing her second book 'On The Come Up' which hits bookstores June 5.

"It's amazing to me to know that this girl from Georgetown, aka the hood in Jackson, who once was on welfare, who didn't have lights and food at one point in her life is now on the top of the New York Times Best Seller List, has a movie coming out and is showing people that good can come out of Jackson," added Thomas.

The feature film stars Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Common, Issa Rae and Russell Hornsby.

'The Hate U Give' is expected to be in theaters later this year. 

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