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African-American playwright August Wilson honored on ‘forever’ stamp

The 44th stamp in the Black Heritage series honors playwright August Wilson, “the theater’s poet of Black America,”. Most importantly, he’s brought a fresh perspective and previously unheard voices to the American stage.

The stamp features an oil painting of Wilson based on a 2005 photograph. Behind Wilson, a picket fence, alludes to Fences, one of his best-known plays. However, the way the fence is depicted recalls Ku Klux Klan hoods with eyeholes. This is a subtle and purposeful reminder that peering over his shoulder and the shoulders of every Black American, is the violent history of enslavement from 1619, onward.

That is to say, read how Wilson explored gentrification, African-American identity, and the ominous poll of the past.


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