Eunice & James L. West Library staff and Texas Wesleyan students kicked off the first event in the TXWES Reads program on Tuesday on the lawn between Dora’s and the library.
Around 10 people, including library staff and students, read quotes from Angie Thomas’ “The Hate U Give” and talked about the author during free period.
“Angie Thomas’ ‘The Hate U Give’ deals with modern issues of racism, police brutality, giving you an inside look at the life of 16-year-old Starr Carter,” said Reference Library Assistant Risa Brown during her introduction. “Thomas once said that she is not here to make you feel comfortable when reading this book; instead, she wants to inform her audience about issues going on in society today.
Jamal Williams, director of Collegiate Academy and College Credit Partnership, said the library choosing “The Hate U Give” to kick off the TXWES Reads program is a great thing for the school to see; events like this show that the library is concerned with informing students and staff about current events.
“Picking a book like ‘The Hate U Give’ in a climate that we are in now shows that the library is focused on current events and looking at and discussing issues going on today,” Williams said.
Williams also said that with a great event like this, the library staff should work closely with the Wesleyan staff to market the event differently.
“When you do these types of events, any type of events like this on campus you can work closely with faculty and students life, cross-marketing with other areas is great for getting the word out about kick of events and getting the word out about what is happening next,” Williams said.
Senior business major Briana Veasley said the event was great, and having quotes from the book read was a big highlight for her.
“The quotes that we read were very powerful and exciting quotes. I like how everyone came up to the podium and read a quote each,” Veasley said.
Circulation Coordinator June Johnson said she loved reading quotes from the book. She also said she is looking forward to watching the movie version of the book, which stars Amandla Stenberg and opens on Oct. 19.
“I enjoyed the quotes that I read today, and my quote, ‘You can destroy wood and brick but you can’t destroy a movement,’ the movement is real, the struggle is real. Reading this made me feel awesome and empowered,” Johnson said.
“The Hate U Give” has been banned in at least one Texas school district and has drawn criticism from police, according to txwes.edu. During free period on Sept. 25, Brown and other library staff will discuss the book in the library orientation room.