Pulitzer Prize Winner and Playwright, August Wilson

In recognition of Black History Month, Urban Media Today salutes Pulitzer prize-winner and playwright, August Wilson.

Dropping out of school at the age of 16, he soon found his love for the literary arts while visiting the Carnegie Library in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; engaging in the works of Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison. He struggled as a youth, working odd jobs and trying to help his family while still writing and studying the arts. He was enlisted in the US Army where he served only a year before returning home to work.

Wilson’s life and career were adventurous, dramatic, fearful, romantic. All of which became the foundation of his accomplished stageplays.

Wilson’s stageplay ‘Fences’ (1986) became a motion picture, filmed in Pittsburgh and winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis), Golden Globe (Viola Davis), Screen Actors Guild (Viola Davis and Denzel Washington), Critics Choice Award (Viola Davis), BAFTA Award (Viola Davis) and NAACP Image Awards (Denzel Washington and Viola Davis).

Following his death in 2005 the Virginia Theatre in New York was renamed in his honour and is the first Broadway theatre to be named after an African-American. He is also honoured by the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh and August Wilson Way in Seattle. (SOURCE)

In April this year, August Wilson’s birthday will be celebrated outside of his Bedford Avenue childhood home with a block party.

During the month of February, the Black Bottom Film Festival, dedicated in honor of August Wilson, and hosted by the August Wilson Cultural Center.

For more Black History moments on Urban Media Today, click here!


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