May 25, 2019  

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“The Hate U Give” Author Angie Thomas March 6 University Forum Speaker

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Angie Thomas

EDITOR'S NOTE: New York Times best-selling author Angie Thomas’ University Forum presentation, scheduled for tonight, March 6, has been cancelled. Thomas informed Forum organizers this morning that she would not be able to attend due to illness. Forum organizers will work to reschedule Thomas’ presentation for a future date. 


How she employs the written word to inform action for social justice will be among the topics author Angie Thomas discusses in her talk, “The Hate U Give: Finding Your Activism,” at the Tuesday, March 6 University Forum at The University of Southern Mississippi. Presented by the Southern Miss Honors College, this program will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus, and admission is free.

Based on the Jackson, Miss. native’s first book and New York Times bestseller The Hate U Give, Thomas’s young adult novel is inspired by the Black Lives Movement and violent encounters between African Americans and police. Described by The New York Times as “a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time,” The Hate U Give is currently being made into a movie starring Amandla Steinberg.

"Angie Thomas is the newest in a long line of Mississippi's great writers," said Dr. Andrew Haley, director of University Forum. "The Hate U Give debuted on the New York Times' young adult best-sellers list and, as of today, has been on the list for an incredible 51 weeks. It is easy to understand why.  The book is incredible. She is remarkably skilled at capturing the voices of her generation and addressing the political challenge black and white Americans face, without preaching.”

Thomas’s lecture is also the inaugural Sam Barefield Lecture at Southern Miss, which was established in honor of the former director of USM’s Wesley Foundation, who was active in human rights and social justice issues.

Southern Miss President Emeritus Aubrey K. Lucas, organizer of the Barefield Lecture Fund, and Dr. Sam Bruton, associate professor of philosophy and director of USM’s Office of Academic Integrity, worked together in helping bring Thomas to USM.

“Thomas’s novel is an uplifting story of hope, and a heartwarming tale of the triumph of moral conviction over grim circumstances,” said Dr. Bruton. “She likens the characters in her novel to ‘roses in concrete’; it is a story of how beauty and justice can emerge from bleakness.”

Additional support for Thomas’s University Forum presentation comes from the Southern Miss Office of the President, the Fairchild Lecture Fund and the USM Department of Philosophy and Religion’s Philosophical Fridays program. For more information about University Forum, visit