Impact Hub Birmingham is hosting an evening of topical discussion and film around the Black Lives Matter movement, featuring US author Angie Thomas.

With a screening of 50 Shades of Melanin followed by a discussion with film director Naomi Grant and Siana Bangura, the ‘Art Against The Grain’ evening will launch itself straight into the heart of the subject matter; being black and being a young person in America and the UK today.

Guest speaker Angie Thomas will be in conversation with Rakeem Omar, where the audience can find out more about why she felt the need to write a book – The Hate U Give – which focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement.

With performances from musician Janel Antoneshia and spoken word artist (and former Birmingham Young Poet Laureate) Damani Dennisur, the evening will culminate in a panel discussion with Angie and members of UKBLM and black activists discussing the correlation between the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and UK, and whether Black Lives Matter belongs in Britain.

A Black Lives Matter protest in Birmingham in 2014, following the police murder of black teenager Mike Brown in the US (Photograph: Adam Yosef)Photograph: Adam Yosef
A Black Lives Matter protest in Birmingham, England in 2014, following the police murder of black teenager Mike Brown in the US
Who is Angie Thomas?

Angie Thomas is a powerful emerging voice in Young Adult fiction. She was born, raised, and still lives in Jackson Mississippi, and studied Creative Writing at Belhaven University, where she was one of the only black students – a theme which she visits in The Hate U Give (THUG).

A former teen rapper, Angie’s debut book THUG is now a best seller in the New York Times Bookseller list and film rights to the book were sold before the book was published.

THUG - The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
T.H.U.G – The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give

THUG is the story of sixteen-year-old Starr – a girl of two worlds. Every day she walks a fine line between the poor inner-city neighbourhood where she was born and raised, and the wealthy suburbs where she goes to high school. The uneasy balance between the two is shattered when Starr becomes the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Now Starr must fight for justice, using the most powerful weapon she has – her voice.

But how she uses it could destroy her two carefully separated lives, her family, and her community. It could also get her killed. Copies of THUG will be on sale at this event and Angie will be doing a book signing at the end of the evening.

Tickets are priced at £6/£4 and scholarship tickets are available for young people who would like to attend but cannot afford a ticket. Please email: events@hubbirmingham if you would like to be considered for a Scholarship ticket. Tickets can be booked via:

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