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"If you take these people [African Americans] back over to Africa, they'll walk around trying to figure out what the hell's going on.  There's no way that they can relate to that.  But the sensibilities are African.  They are Africans who have been removed from Africa, and they are in America four hundred years later.  They're still Africans."          


~August Wilson

"The idea of Africa as metaphor, I believe, is critical as it enables Wilson to escape the romanticization and essentialization of Africa, but rather allows his 'Africa' to be constructed, to be (w)ritten within the context of the moment."


   ~Harry J. Elam, Jr.

". . ..for the young Wilson, who came of age in an era preoccupied by the concepts of cultural nationalism espoused by Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad as well as by the Black Arts Movement and Black Power movements, Africa became his center of gravity and a symbol for his mother's dominant heritage, a heritage that he wholeheartedly embraced."     

~Sandra G. Shannon

Wilson, as chronicler of the African-American experience, has responded to the durable ethos of the African continuum, which is the cultural mooring of black expression throughout the diaspora.

~ Paual Harris Carter

"Accordingly, to a certain degree, each of the characters within the Juba scene from Joe Turner is possessed.  However, they are not simply possessed by the 'Holy Spirit' but rather by the spirit of the past, by African tradition, by the power of the ancestors, by the 'blood memory.'"

~ Harry J. Elam

". . order to follow Wilson's agenda, it is necessary to situate his concept of Africa within the rhetorical and spiritual contexts of his dramatic universe.    


~Sandra G. Shannon

online events

The August wilson society
will be hosting a series of events brought to you live

Past events

Celebrate August's 75th Birthday

Dramatic Vision Booksigning (September 1

The August Wilson African American Cultural Center and the August Wilson Society have teamed up to commemorate and celebrate Wilson’s 75th birthday by hosting AUGUST WILSON AT 75: A VIRTUAL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, an enlightening, well-timed Face Book live discussion on one of the most produced, most studied, most relevant, and most impactful playwrights of the late twentieth and twenty-first century: August Wilson.

Join August Wilson Society President Dr. Sandra Shannon along with award-winning actor and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Pittsburgh actor Nathan James and poet Jessica Care Moore at 11 a.m. on April 27 to explore little-known aspects of Wilson’s culturally uplifting art and politics and to find in his life’s work inspiration for these difficult times.

Poet . . .. Playwright . . .. Prophet . . .. Warrior . . .. Master Story Teller . . .. Two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner . . .. Chronicler of the Black Experience . . ..

Yes, that was our August Wilson, who would have turned 75 years old on Monday, April 27!

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august and africa

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photo gallery



August Wilson’s literary archive is coming home

Marylnne Pitz

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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The August Wilson Society

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