Prominent novelist Angie Thomas is planning to leave Mississippi due to the toxic politics here, on prominent display in last night’s election outcome. The wildly successful graduate of Belhaven College grew up in Georgetown in Jackson and travels frequently to Atlanta, Los Angeles and beyond. Her first novel became a popular feature film, and now her second adapted film is in production. She told me in a recent Let’s Talk Jackson podcast that she is turning her career attention toward the film world.
But, as of now, Angie doesn’t plan to make films in her native Mississippi, even as she is investing in her old neighborhood, fixing up playgrounds and working to inspire kids, much as her hero Nipsey Hussle did in L.A., as she explained in our podcast and a recent cover story by JFP Culture Writer Aliyah Veal.
“I once considered putting my production company in Mississippi, filming projects in Mississippi,” Angie tweeted last night. “But I also realize the money from those projects would benefit politicians who don't see me as an equal. Money talks, and mine walks.”
The Real Root of Mississippi ‘Brain Drain’
Many of the same politicians who won statewide offices last night by pandering to Donald Trump love to talk about stopping Mississippi brain drain, of course. There's even a "Mississippi Brain Drain Commission" with an ugly website. But it’s always about anything but reversing hatefulness and intolerance of anyone not just like those in power.
Angie wasn’t the only one tweeting about this last night: Smart Mississippians crowded into my mentions to say they don’t think they can stay in the state much longer, while the election outcome discouraged many ex-pats who want to return home.
I and my staff have worked mightily to convince young people to stay in the state and use their energy