This Day in History: 1945-04-27

American playwright August Wilson is born. He has been referred to as the “theater’s poet of Black America” and is best known for a series of ten plays collectively called The Pittsburgh Cycle, which chronicle the experiences and heritage of the African-American community in the 20th century. Plays in the series include, Jitney (1982), Fences (1984), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1984), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1986), The Piano Lesson (1987), King Hedley II (1999). Two of his plays received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and two of his other works won the Tony Award for Best Play. In 2006 Wilson was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. His works delve into the African American experience as well as examinations of the human condition. Other themes have ranged from the systemic and historical exploitation of African Americans, as well as race relations, identity, migration, and racial discrimination. Learn more.