“The Hate U Give” Forum Sparks Discussion


Rachel Schweitzer, Staff Writer

“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas has sparked discussions and forums centered around the topic of racial discrimination in America. Students at Western planned to meet in the library to further build on this subject, run by faculty members Ms. Laux and Ms. Archey, as well as Mr. Hughes’ Big Idea Club. The group’s first meeting took place on October 18th during lunch and all were encouraged to join in the club and their discussions including students and faculty.

The idea for the group began due to the events that took place in Charlottesville. Ms. Archey communicated with the James Madison Regional Library, as well as several school representatives to organize details of a “community read”. Later, a grant was given to WAHS and remains one of the only schools to receive special paperback copies of the book to distribute. The group also gave out free tickets to students to see the advanced screening of the book’s movie adaption

“We wanted to do something to open discussion and dialogue,” Ms. Lejeune said.

Angie Thomas, the author of the novel, was on board with the “community read” idea, and at some point the group is scheduled to Skype Thomas to further discuss her novel with other members of the community. The group also hosted the UVA Sustained Dialogue group, in order to moderate conversations, bring new viewpoints, and keep discussions respectful and appropriate.

Ms. Lejeune plans to encourage more book clubs in the future, facilitating more discussions, and opening new topics. Legeune sees the club as beneficial, not only for cultural understanding, but also an opportunity for a fun read.

“I would love to see this lead to any attempts at building bridges between groups,” Ms. Lejeune explained.