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We are 15 Years 


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Wilson insisted that you can't begin to deal with the present without remembering the past.  In keeping, the August Wilson Society will mark this milestone by highlighting the 12 Founding Members who gathered in the Spring of 2006 to establish what has become a major national and international organization. 


celebrate with aws

Tuesday, April 27th 4:00PM

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2021 biennial colloquium

Ma rainey's black bottom

virtual Jam session


Jam Session

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Phylicia Rashad


Ruben Santiago-Hudson​

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Ebony Jo-Ann

Moderated by

Dr. Sandra G. 



Thanks for Watching!


August wilson's 75th Birthday

Dramatic Vision Booksigning (September 1
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, 2020!

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.

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The August Wilson Society has been awarded a grant from The Black Seed National Initiative.

Dan Meyer


The Black Arts Institute

The Black Arts Institute

AWS President and Founder, Dr. Sandra Shannon, facilitated a Master Class for BIA as her role of August Wilson Scholar

Forever Stamp

Forever Stamp

USPS has unveiled the August Wilson Forever Stamp as the 44th in the Black Heritage Collection. View the Stamp Dedication Ceremony.

New York Public Radio

New York Public Radio

The 2013 recordings of August Wilson’s seminal series will be made available for educational purposes.

NPR Interview

NPR Interview

Dr. Sandra Shannon discusses August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” the play, the movie and the AWS Virtual Jam Session.

A Jam Session

A Jam Session

Howard University, August Wilson Society and Netflix Present Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Virtual Jam Session with Phylicia Rashad, George C. Wolfe, Colman Domingo and more

Press Release

Press Release

August Wilson's literary archive is finally coming home to the University of Pittsburgh

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august and africa

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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.

~ Paul Carter Harrison

"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

News & Media
August & Africa
2020 Ground Lecture Series
AWS 2020 Colloquium
AWS Celebrates 10 Years
Black Theater Day
2021 Ground Lecture Series
AWS 15th Anniversary
Black Arts Institute
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AWS with TM.png

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