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Throughout her entire career actress Sanaa Lathan has brought powerful and memorable characters to life on the silver screen and she will continue to use her artistry to tell poignant stories from the director’s chair. According to Deadline, Lathan will direct a film adaptation for one of author Angie Thomas’ novels.

The film—which will be the first feature film that Lathan has directed—is inspired by Thomas’ book On the Come Up. The novel captures the coming of age story of a 16-year-old aspiring rapper named Bri. It delves into her journey as she navigates grief following the loss of her father and deals with a flawed school system and financial burdens. “Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation,” read a description of the novel. “It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.” Thomas is also known for penning the novel The Hate U Give which had a film adaptation that was released in 2018.

On the Come Up will be created under State Street and Temple Hill. Thomas will serve as a producer for the project and Kay Oyegun is penning the script. This isn’t Lathan’s first time in the director’s chair. She worked on a short film called Leap which will make its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Black women are making power moves in the realm of entertainment. News about Lathan’s feature directorial debut comes after Regina King made history as the first Black woman director to premiere a film at the Venice Film Festival.


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