Don’t Give Up; Become Extraordinary says Best Selling Author Angie Thomas at the Southbank Centre

Becoming Extraordinary: Author Angie Thomas (right) on stage with Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuf

Review by Mercy Francis

The Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre was packed. Both young and old listening with much anticipation as best- selling author Angie Thomas conversed with interviewer, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuf, over the history behind her first book ‘The Hate U Give.’

She spoke on how the book mirrors her own life and how she identifies with the main character.

A pin could be heard drop as the audience soaked in the wisdom of an ordinary author who says anyone can become extraordinary!

Ms Thomas was there to introduce the topic of her latest book ‘On the Come Up’ which charts the story of Bri a young Hip Hop artist.

It’s about not giving up and not seeing yourself in the eyes of others, she reaffirmed. It’s about two people growing up in the same environment and how they can turn out completely different!

Mainly the young, especially school children asked vital questions on how they are perceived by society and how they should react to such perceptions and stereotypes!

A lot of these questions came from Black Asian Minority and Ethnic (BAME) communities. They were greeted with smiles and warmly welcomed by Ms Thomas.

Her responses were that positivity will always triumph over negativity! She encouraged the young to rise above stereotypical views and labelling.

She stressed time and time again that her Christian faith gave her strength to face the challenges in her life.

There was much excitement as the long queues formed for her book signing afterwards. People felt lifted and motivated to face whatever the universe might throw at them as they left the Hall book in hand!

Angie Thomas was in conversation at the Southbank Centre in London on 12th March 2019

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