August Wilson Will Be Honored With a Commemorative Forever Stamp

The stamp will be dedicated January 28.

By: Dec. 10, 2020
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August Wilson Will Be Honored With a Commemorative Forever Stamp Playwright August Wilson will be honored with a commemorative Forever stamp next year.

The stamp will be dedicated Jan. 28 on the Postal Service Facebook and Twitter pages. For more information, visit

Customers may preorder and purchase stamps and other products through the Postal Store at, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.

In the late 1960s, at the threshold of the Black Arts Movement, Wilson joined a group of poets, educators, and artists who formed the Centre Avenue Poets Theater Workshop. Wilson met friend and collaborator, Rob Penny, through this group, and in 1968, they co-founded the Black Horizon Theater, a community-based, Black Nationalist Theater Company in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.

Wilson served as the self-taught resident director, and Penny was the playwright-in-residence up until the mid-1970s when the company dissolved. Penny and Wilson produced several plays from and inspired by the black canon, a collection of literature and artwork by African-American artists, assembled and celebrated to raise awareness about the African-American experience. In 1970, Wilson married his first wife, Brenda Burton, and had his first daughter, Sakina Ansari Wilson.

In 1978, Wilson moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he concentrated more on playwriting and became a company member of the Penumbra Theatre led by colleague Lou Bellamy. In 1979, Wilson wrote Jitney, which he considered his first real play. Wilson received a fellowship from the Minneapolis Playwrights Center in 1980, and the following year, he married his second wife Judy Oliver.

Wilson's third American Century Cycle play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, which premiered at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in 1982, was the first to gain him widespread recognition. In the same year, Wilson met Lloyd Richards, the African-American artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theatre who would direct Wilson's first six plays on Broadway. In 1987, Wilson won the Pulitzer Prize for Fences, and in 1990, The Piano Lesson earned Wilson his second Pulitzer.