[image-1] With local and national buzz surrounding Angie Thomas’ debut novel The Hate U Give, which topped the New York Times Bestseller List for nearly two years and was made into a movie last year, it’s no wonder her scheduled appearance as a speaker at the Sottile Theatre for the College of Charleston on Mon. Jan. 14 is already sold out.
But fans shouldn’t lose hope. The show may be sold out, but there is a chance for a few more excited Charlestonians to get tickets to the show and join the conversation: walk-ups will be seated five minutes before showtime on a first come, first served basis depending on seating availability.
The talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Sottile Theatre at 44 George St.
(CofC students, faculty, and staff will also be able to hear from Thomas earlier in the afternoon at 5 p.m. in the Stern Center Ballroom.)
Thomas, a recipient of the 2018 William C. Morris Award, the 2018 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant, awarded by We Need Diverse Books, will host a talk called “The Hate U Give: Finding Your Activism and Turning the Political into the Personal” before taking part in a Q&A with attendees.
The Hate U Give was one novel that caused a divide among educational institutions and law enforcement in Charleston regarding its portrayal of police.
Many schools in Charleston, including Wando High School and the College of Charleston, assigned the novel for summer reading. The College picked it as The College Reads! book for entering 2018 freshman while Wando included it in their English I CP summer reading list. Wando’s selection of the novel for high school students’ summer reading did not go over well with one Charleston police advocate.
In June 2018, John Blackmon, Lodge President of the Charleston-area Fraternal Order of Police, Tri-County Lodge #3, told WCBD News 2 that he felt the novel indoctrinated a sense of distrust for police: “Freshmen, they’re at the age where their interactions with law enforcement have been very minimal. They’re not driving yet, they haven’t been stopped for speeding, they don’t have these type of interactions. This is putting in their minds, it’s almost an indoctrination of distrust of police and we’ve got to put a stop to that.”
Wando High kept the novel on their reading list with three other books to choose from.
In a press release about Monday’s talk, CofC English professor Valerie Frazier described why Thomas’ visit is important, connecting a three local incidents that have sparked discussions about latent racism. “As we grapple with the aftershocks and historical impact of slavery, [the shooting of] Walter Scott, the Emanuel Nine tragedy, and, most recently, the controversy over the Charleston Rifle Club’s blackballing of Dr. Melvin Brown, it becomes more and more apparent that such dialogue is still needed.”