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30.Jump up ^ AJCongress on Statement by NAACP Chapter Director on Lieberman, American Jewish Congress (AJC), August 9, 2000.
August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) was an American playwright whose work included a series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Wilson's maternal grandmother walked from North Carolina to Pennsylvania in search of a better life. In 1959 Wilson was the only African-American student at the Central Catholic High School, where he was soon driven away by threats and abuse.[1]He then attended Connelley Vocational High School, but found the curriculum unchallenging. Wilson made such extensive use of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to educate himself that it later awarded him a degree, the only such one it has bestowed. By then, Wilson knew that he wanted to be a writer, but this created tension with his mother, who wanted him to become a lawyer.
In 1968, he co-founded the Black Horizon Theater in the Hill District of Pittsburgh along with his friend Rob Penny.[1] Wilson's first play, Recycling, was performed for audiences in small theaters, schools and public housing community centers for 50 cents a ticket. In 1976 Vernell Lillie, who had founded the Kuntu Repertory Theatre at the University of Pittsburgh two years earlier, directed Wilson's The Homecoming. In 1978 Wilson moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota, at the suggestion of his friend director Claude Purdy, who helped him secure a job writing educational scripts for the Science Museum of Minnesota.[1] In 1980 he received a fellowship for The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis. Although he was a writer dedicated to writing for theater, a Hollywood studio proposed filming Wilson's play Fences.
Wilson's best known plays are Fences (1985) (which won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award), The Piano Lesson (1990) (a Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award), Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and Joe Turner's Come and Gone.


Like Bearden, Wilson worked with collage techniques in writing: "I try to make my plays the equal of his canvases.
Wilson's "Pittsburgh Cycle," also often referred to as his "Century Cycle," consists of ten plays—nine of which are set in Pittsburgh's Hill District, an African-American neighborhood that takes on a mythic literary significance like Thomas Hardy's Wessex, William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, or Irish playwright Brian Friel's Ballybeg. Cort Theatre New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award Wilson passed away between the premier and the Broadway opening. Wilson reported that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2005 and been given three to five months to live. The childhood home of Wilson and his six siblings, at 1727 Bedford Avenue in Pittsburgh was declared a historic landmark by the State of Pennsylvania on May 30, 2007.[15] On February 26, 2008, Pittsburgh City Council placed the house on the List of City of Pittsburgh historic designations. On October 16, 2005, fourteen days after Wilson's death, the Virginia Theatre in New York City's Broadway Theater District was renamed the August Wilson Theatre.
NPR Intersections: August Wilson, Writing to the Blues, March 1, 2004, audio interview (6 mins).
Margaret Busby, "August Wilson - Distinguished black American playwright who reclaimed the stories of his people" (obituary), The Guardian, October 4, 2005.
In 1913, the NAACP organized opposition to President Woodrow Wilson's introduction of racial segregation into federal government policy, offices, and hiring.
That same year Wilson saw Sizwe Banzi is Dead at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, his first professional play. In 1969 Wilson married Brenda Burton, a Muslim, and Wilson converted to Islam in order to sustain the marriage.


Wilson, Penny, and poet Maisha Baton also started the Kuntu Writers Workshop to bring African-American writers together and to assist them in publication and production. He liked to write on cafe napkins because, he said, it freed him up and made him less self-conscious as a writer. Wilson had a long association with the Penumbra Theatre Company of St Paul, which gave the premieres of some Wilson plays. He would then gather the notes and type them up at home.[1] Gifted with a talent for catching dialect and accents, Wilson had an "astonishing memory," which he put to full use during his career. He married again in 1994 and was survived by his third wife, costume designer, Constanza Romero, whom he met on the set of "The Piano Lesson". Much of the action of Radio Golf revolves around the plan to demolish and redevelop that house, some years after her death. Together they had a daughter, Azula Carmen Wilson.[1] Wilson was also survived by siblings Freda Ellis, Linda Jean Kittel, Donna Conley, Barbara Jean Wilson, Edwin Kittel and Richard Kittel.
Wilson's mother divorced and married David Bedford in the 1950s and the family moved from the Hill District to the then predominantly white working-class neighborhood of Hazelwood, where they encountered racial hostility; bricks were thrown through a window at their new home.



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