Santa Monica Public Library’s annual community reading program, Santa Monica Reads, continues for the seventeenth year in 2019. Popular with local residents and visitors, the program invites everyone to read and talk about the same book at special events and book discussions held throughout the city. The Library is pleased to announce “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas as the 2019 selection. Santa Monica Reads runs from Saturday, June 15 through Tuesday, July 30 at the Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard.
“The Hate U Give” tells the story of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter, whose world is shattered when she becomes a key witness in the shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. When his death makes national headlines, Starr must decide whether or not to speak out. What Starr does – or does not–say will affect her safety and her community, as well as the national debate about police-community relations.
Angie Thomas’s bold debut examines the complexities of race in America through the lens of social justice. During a time of increased violence against persons and communities of color, this is a critical topic. Thomas’s book sparks conversation about how interpersonal and structural racism affects culture and society. On June 15, Santa Monica Reads will kick off with an interactive ‘Race Card Project’ display in Main Library’s lobby from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. THe project is intended to distill individual thoughts, experiences, or observations about race into one six-word sentence.
Free copies of “The Hate U Give,” as well as a resource guide that provides information on the book, its author and Santa Monica Reads events, are currently available at all Santa Monica Public Library locations, while supplies last. Santa Monica Reads is sponsored by the Santa Monica Public Library and the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library, with additional support from other community and educational partners.
Please join Santa Monica Public Library for one or more of the following free special events and book discussions:
Codeswitching: What Does It Mean? — “The Hate U Give” explores the ways its main protagonist Starr code-switches her identity and behavior with different groups. Learn about the concept of code-switching and how it translates into everyday social behavior on Wednesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. at Fairview Branch Library, 2101 Ocean Park Blvd.
Movie and Discussion: The Hate U Give (2018) — Nominated for five NAACP Image Awards, the film adaptation of this year’s Santa Monica Reads title stars Amandla Stenberg in the role of Starr Carter. A discussion follows the film with director George Tillman Jr. (Film runtime: 133 min.) on Sunday, June 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the Main Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Movie and Discussion: Dear White People (2014) — This sharp comedy-drama explores racial identity through the stories of four black college students when a riot breaks out over an ‘African American’ themed party thrown by a white fraternity. A discussion about the shared themes of the film and The Hate U Give follows the screening (Film runtime: 108 min.) on Tuesday, June 25 at 6:00p.m. at the Montana Branch Library, 1704 Montana Ave.
We Read Diverse Books #weneeddiversebooks — Angie Thomas stands at the top of a recent wave of diverse literature written by female authors of color. Join librarians as they share their favorite reads from this recent wave of diversity on Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. at Ocean Park Branch Library, 2601 Main St.
Author Talk: Ghettoside with Jill Leovy — Jill Leovy discusses her book Ghettoside, a multi-viewpoint look at the plague of homicides impacting Los Angeles communities, and shares the insights she gained in her research and writing, as well as the reaction that followed the book’s publication. The event takes place on Thursday, June 27 at 6 p.m. at the Main Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Holler If Ya Hear Me: The Impact of Tupac Shakur — The influence of rap artist and poet Tupac Shakur is keenly felt in The Hate U Give. Join us for a discussion on the ways Tupac and contemporary artists like Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper have helped illuminate and elevate young black voices on Tuesday, July 2 at 7 p.m., Main Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Movie and Discussion: Fruitvale Station (2013) — Based on a true story, Fruitvale Station uncovers the events leading to the death of Oscar Grant, a young man killed by a BART police officer. A discussion about the shared themes of the film and The Hate U Give follows the screening (Film runtime: 85 min.) on Tuesday, July 9 at 6 p.m., Main Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Blackout Poetry — Unleash your inner poet by bringing new life to old book pages. Create a poem by selecting certain words on a page and covering the rest with a permanent marker. For adults and teens, on Friday, July 12 at 2 p.m. at the Main Library, Lobby/Courtyard, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Race Relay: A Multimedia Production — Explore the way race shapes our world with Race Relay, a unique interactive presentation that explores race relations in America today through drama, music, and video. Space is limited and on first arrival basis on Saturday, July 13 at 2 p.m. at the Main Library, Multipurpose Room, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Race Relay Discussion — Denise Hamilton, writer and director of Race Relay, invites audience members and new participants for a conversation of open reflection on their feelings and attitudes about race on Tuesday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at the Main Library, Multipurpose Room, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Fan Confessionals: A Film about The Hate U Give — Join us for this special screening of fans sharing how The Hate U Give has affected them, filmed especially for Santa Monica Reads.
The screening takes place on Tuesday, July 23 at 7 p.m. at the Main Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium., 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Movie and Discussion: All Eyez on Me (2017) — The life and legacy of Tupac Shakur are explored in this feature film, including his rise to stardom. A discussion about the shared themes of the film and The Hate U Give follows the screening (Film runtime: 139 min.) on Thursday, July 25 at 6 p.m. at the Ocean Park Branch Library, 2601 Main St.
Santa Monica Reads book discussions are hosted by trained discussion facilitators. Discussion participants are encouraged to share their thoughts about The Hate U Give and its themes, or are welcome to simply listen and learn more about the book.
Saturday, June 29 at 11:00am | Main Library, Multipurpose Room, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Wednesday, July 3 at 4:00 p.m. | Fairview Branch Library, 2101 Ocean Park Blvd.
Wednesday, July 17 at 7:00 p.m. | Montana Branch Library, 1704 Montana Ave.
*Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America will also be discussed.
Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. | Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, 1210 Fourth St.
Saturday, July 20 at 11:00 a.m. | Ocean Park Branch Library, 2601 Main St.
Tuesday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. | Main Library, Community Room, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
For more information about these free, public programs call Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600 or visit smpl.org/SMReads.aspx. The Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, call Library Administration (310) 458-8606 a week in advance. All library locations can be reached by Big Blue Bus. Bicycle parking racks are available.
Submitted by Jennifer Boyce.