2023 Regular Session
By: Representative Crudup
A RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING AND COMMENDING ANGIE THOMAS UPON HER ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS AN AUTHOR, PRODUCER, SPEAKER, ACTIVIST AND PHILANTHROPIST.
WHEREAS, while Angie Thomas has been a Mississippi rising star, as a native of Jackson, Mississippi, a graduate of Belhaven University and as a former teen rapper, the world came to know this Magnolia Princess and literary prodigy, after she was named the inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books, for her 2017 debut novel, The Hate U Give, which was birthed out of her collegiate senior project; and
WHEREAS, holding a bachelor of fine arts degree in creative writing and an unofficial degree in "hip hop," Ms. Thomas, who now resides between Mississippi and Georgia, The Hate U Give was later acquired by the Balzer+Bray imprint of HarperCollins Publishers in a 13-publisher auction and debuted at Number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, winning the American Library Association's William C. Morris Debut Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (USA), the Waterstones Children's Book Prize (UK) and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (Germany); and
WHEREAS, The Hate U Give, written to bring light to the controversial issue of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, was adapted into a critically acclaimed film from Fox 2000 in 2018, starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr.; and
WHEREAS, subjected to multiple instances of gun violence at a young age, Ms. Thomas, who was born and raised in Jackson, and who grew up near the home of assassinated civil rights activist Medgar Evers, was inspired to take up writing after her mother took her to the library to expose her to the limitless possibilities the world offered following the dreadful event of having witnessed a shootout at only six years of age; and
WHEREAS, initially poised to write fantasy and middle grade novels, Ms. Thomas's 2019 sophomore novel, On the Come Up, is currently a Number 1 New York Times bestseller as well, keeping on trend with the success of The Hate U Give, with a film development with Paramount Pictures in the works, which will afford Ms. Thomas her breakout role as a producer; and
WHEREAS, quite the workaholic with an unyielding pen to give voice to those who have been permanently silenced through misconceived acts of aggression, as well as those who endure the horrors produced by the stinging reality of a loved one's life being senselessly and prematurely extinguished, Ms. Thomas released Find Your Voice: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Truth, as a tool to help aspiring writers tell their stories, followed by a 2021 return to the world of Garden Heights with the publication of Concrete Rose, a prequel to The Hate U Give, which debuted at Number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and Blackout, a collaborative collection of stories with a central theme of Black teen love expressed during a New York City power outage; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Thomas views her writing as her means of activism by making "something that is so political seem personal"; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to highlight the successes of our state's native sons and daughters who have immersed themselves in arts and literature to inspire the next generation of talent, as evidenced by Ms. Thomas's litany of literary achievements:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby recognize and commend Angie Thomas upon her accomplishments as an author, producer, speaker, activist and philanthropist and extend best wishes for continued success in all her future endeavors.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Angie Thomas and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.