May 15 2015

Conversation with the Legendary Sonia Sanchez

GUEST: Sonia Sanchez legendary poet, writer and activist artist. She was the designated speaker for this year’s Jean Burden Poetry Reading at Cal State L.A.  

Just as it’s been fifty years since the March on Selma and many landmark moments in the history of the Black struggle for civil rights, it was half a century ago that the ground breaking Black Arts Movement was pioneered by such great activist artists as Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, and my guest Sonia Sanchez. 

Sonia Sanchez has written more than 15 books of poetry and stories and was named the first Poet Laureate of the city of Philadelphia in 2011. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, she eventually moved to Harlem, New York, where she became active in the arts and in civil rights activism. She was a member of New York’s Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and also deeply influenced by Malcolm X. She taught and lived in San Francisco before eventually making her way to Philadelphia where she still lives. Her 1969 book of poetry called ‘Homecoming’, catapulted her onto the national stage. Her latest book, Morning Haiku, was published in 2010. She has written and published plays, won major awards including the National Book Critics Circle Award and the American Book Award. In fall 2014, she co-edited an anthology called SOS: Calling all Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader.

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