/Author Angie Thomas’s complicated relationship with Mississippi

Author Angie Thomas’s complicated relationship with Mississippi

The award from Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters was more meaningful because it was locally produced. It was also for a book that she knew made readers uncomfortable, especially those in traditional Southern white spaces. Thomas said that the award means more to her because she recognizes that my words helped her connect with people, people that she may not have expected. It makes me examine myself and realize that I have biases and assumptions about people. I don’t want other people to do the exact same to me so I have to stop making assumptions about people and stop making biases. This is the award I am most proud of. It comes from home. This book is a micro-review of Thomas’s first book. It echoes Thomas’s themes but shows how one our culture’s core principles, that young people should have the right to express themselves, does not always apply to Bri. She sees rapping as a way to understand and break the cycle of violence, poverty, and addiction that has affected her family and friends. To her, however, it’s only violent noise that must be muted by the authorities in her life. The novel pays tribute to Thomas’s hometown, Jackson. This is evident in the scenes at Midtown Arts High School, Sal’s pizza place and the protagonist’s surname. (Also, be sure to check out the Outkast, “Black Panther” and other references. Some other references to Mississippi are more serious and reflect some of the most controversial debates of our time. Bri’s efforts to navigate a predominantly white charter school highlight the ongoing debate about school choice in Mississippi. The book also discusses the social and environmental factors that influence health and education, as well as the role of the social safety net and educational disparities. Thomas has also spoken out about the complicated relationship she has with Mississippi in her books. It’s a complicated relationship, in that I am always searching for hope in Mississippi and I’m constantly disappointed by Mississippi. She said that she can’t let go of it, “because there is so much goodness here.” “There is so much good in this place, besides the bad.” This award caught her attention differently than the others. It gives her an additional incentive to get involved here and cultivate joy and give back. Imani Skipwith, a Jackson native, has seen her life change through giving back. She is now attending Jackson’s Belhaven University on a full-ride scholarship for four years. Although she knew she wanted to become a writer at middle school, she didn’t realize it until she was referred to the Mississippi School for the Arts by Thomas. She helped her develop her writing skills and encouraged her to create a portfolio of poetry and short stories. Skipwith was still skeptical about her work, even though she had “found inspiration in quarantine” for the past year. She also wasn’t sure what it would look like to pursue a career as a writer. Angie Thomas called her via Zoom in April. Belhaven University She said that winning this was a significant achievement. She said, “It was something I could hold on to.” The scholarship will support young people in self-love and assist them on their way. It is so comforting to know that someone is there for you.” She’s excited to share her experience with future recipients of the Thomas-driven Belhaven support network. She says that Skipwith’s work is a punchy combination of light weight and self-doubt, despite her self-doubt, which she’s gradually turning into self-confidence. For a young writer, she writes about mental illness, oppression, and in heavy, self-aware ways. Her writing, which includes scenes from alternate history narratives about the Vietnam War and sci fi prose, is full of emotion and clamors for symbolism. Yet, it still asks grounded questions about equity and fairness. Thomas was impressed by Skipwith’s portfolio after she reviewed it. He told Skipwith, after blind-reading her work to determine her scholarship winner, that “You did this, and God did that.” Skipwith says that the scholarship is double-folded and includes some. The financial support is crucial — she won’t have to take out loans so that her writing career doesn’t get started in debt. Any extra savings from her household can be used to help her sister, 8, save for college. Skipwith says that Thomas’ support and validation is equally important. Skipwith stated that Angie should get to know her and tell her I’m a good writer. This will be a point of contact for people like herself. “I cried so hard when I discovered, and it’s just how I can break away from all (negative) things you heard,” Skipwith said. Imani Khayyam Thomas believes that this emotional support is crucial — especially for young girls like her. Belhaven was expensive for her and she was aware of the lack of diversity in the program. She explained that the financial hardships made it difficult for her to feel like she was accepted at first. She was the only Jackson student to graduate from the creative-writing program. “If this validates her in some way, I’m so happy. It is vital for young people to have this confidence when they enter college. It’s amazing how this makes me think. If I had it when I entered Belhaven’s creative writing program, I would have had a completely different experience. I was afraid of the unknown. Validation plays an important role in all this. Thomas stated that a large part of my work is giving back — instilling in others what I received and what I didn’t get.” Thomas said, “That’s one thing, validating young writers and letting these people know that their stories matter.” Their voices are important. Their dreams are as important as their lives. “If I can be a footnote (in) Skipwith’s writing legacy or another young writer’s writing legacy, then my dream has been accomplished.” Thomas hopes that the annual scholarship will give hope to Jackson’s young people who may not have been supported in writing or who need financial assistance in college. It is comforting to know that there are support networks. “The stress of (loans), is not something that any young person should deal with when they decide to pursue higher education. But that’s the reality. She said that young people in Mississippi are often faced with other hardships and she wanted to reach out specifically to those students. There are many skyscrapers in Jackson, and some kids have never seen one. They have never seen the city, they have never seen an alleyway or seen anything beyond their immediate neighborhood. They don’t see beyond their neighborhood, and they don’t know what the future holds. “I hope it validates their existence a little more. A story about a young person can win an award for literature. That means you’re worthy, that means you matter, that means your story matters.” Angie Thomas’s third novel “Concrete Rose,” a prequel to “The Hate U Give,” will be released January 12, 2021 by HarperCollins.