Who was August Wilson?

By Mike Downing

August Wilson was an award-winning playwright who chronicled the African-American experience through a series of ten plays. He was born Frederick August Kittel, Jr. on April 27, 1945 in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, PA. His father was a German immigrant named Frederick August Kittel and his mother was an African-American woman named Daisy Wilson.

From a young age, August began to read such black writers as WEB DuBois, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, and Richard Wright, which influenced his later work. Mainly self-educated, and after holding several jobs, Mr. Wilson became involved in Black Horizons on the Hill, a theater company in Pittsburgh, in the late 1960’s.

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