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Politics & Prose - A Night with Angie Thomas

2020 Common Reading Program

The Common Reading Program is an opportunity for new students to engage in an academic experience with the PLU community. During New Student Orientation, incoming students will meet with a faculty member, a New Student Orientation Guide, and their peers to discuss the Common Reading book and learn strategies for academic success at PLU. The 2020 Common Reading book is The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas.

In the novel, Thomas tells the story of Starr Carter, a 16 year old African American young woman, who witnesses the murder of her childhood friend Khalil, at the hands of a White police officer. Throughout the course of the novel, we follow Starr as she navigates relationships with her family, classmates, and boyfriend to find her voice to fight against the injustice of Khalil’s death. Gripping and relatable, Thomas provides a nuanced and compelling narrative that confronts readers with issues of police brutality, implicit and explicit racism, growth and maturation, and the enduring strength and centrality of the Black community and culture in American society.

Interview with Mr. Elmer Dixson

Mr. Elmer Dixon was born in Chicago in 1950 to his mother who was a Chicago-native and his father who was born in Kentucky and served in the Army. He and his family moved to Seattle at the age of 7 where he grew up in the Central District of Seattle and more specifically the Madrona neighborhood. Dixon was exposed to an extremely diverse environment from a young age. He attended Garfield High School and says his experience there set the foundation for his work both with the Black Panther Party and as a Diversity & Inclusion Consultant.

In this interview Dixon shares stories of his time in high school as an organizer of the Black Student Union and his experiences as a co-founder (along with his brother Aaron Dixon) of the Seattle Black Panther Party. This conversation is especially timely and insightful given our current climate in the US along with the themes present in this year’s Common Reading book “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas.

Discussion Guide

Follow the prepared reading and discussion guide for The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Purchase the book through the LuteLocker online.

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Use these academic strategies for success during the Common Reading Program.

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