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August Wilson Biography | Author of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

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Author Biography

Born in 1945 to a white father, Frederick August Kittle, and a black mother, Daisy Wilson, August Wilson grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A voracious reader who credits his mother for his love of language, Wilson dropped out of school in the ninth grade, educating himself at libraries. In 1962, Wilson enlisted in the U.S. Army but was discharged a year later. In 1965, he decided to become a writer, buying his first typewriter for twenty dollars. In 1968, he helped to found Pittsburgh's Black Horizons on the Hill Theater, with the goal of "politicizing the community." Wilson was heavily involved with the Civil Rights movement during this time and described himself as a "Black Nationalist." After he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1978, Wilson's career began to gather steam. Following the oftgiven advice to write what you know, Wilson created characters that spoke like people he knew in black neighborhoods...

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This section contains 368 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Study Guide
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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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