literature & poetry
talks & debates

Angie Thomas: On the Come Up

The bestselling author of The Hate U Give presents an homage to hip-hop and the power of storytelling in a discussion of her second novel, with Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff.

On the Come Up is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities faced by poor and working-class black families.

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But when her mom unexpectedly loses her job and homelessness is staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it – she has to make it.

Angie Thomas is the New York Times number one bestselling author of The Hate U Give, which has recently been adapted into a major movie from Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg and Anthony Mackie.

The book also won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the CILIP Amnesty Honour, the National Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year and the Books are my Bag Readers Award.

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff is an award-winning writer, editor and columnist who focuses on issues surrounding race, social justice, culture and media. She is Deputy Editor at gal-dem, a magazine written and produced exclusively by women of colour and non-binary people of colour, aiming to diversify the journalism landscape. She contributes to publications including The Guardian, iPaper and Dazed, and is editor of the book Mother Country: Real Stories of the Windrush Children, a leading new exploration of the Windrush generation.

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Queen Elizabeth Hall


Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)


25% off (limited availability)
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 13+

Access information
This event is Speech-to-Text transcribed (STT). To join our free Access Scheme and book tickets for these services, call our Ticket Office on 020 3879 9555 or email
Find out more about our Access Scheme