The U.S. Postal Service will honor August Wilson with a commemorative Forever stamp in the Black Heritage series.
News of the stamp is being shared with hashtags #AugustWilsonForever and #BlackHeritageStamps.
The 44th stamp in the Black Heritage series honors playwright August Wilson (1945-2005), who brought fresh perspectives and previously unheard voices to the American stage.
Between 1982 and 2005, Wilson wrote his acclaimed American Century Cycle. This series of 10 plays includes nine set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, the neighborhood where Wilson grew up. With one play for each decade of the 20th century, including such well-known works as “Fences,” “The Piano Lesson” and “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” the American Century Cycle plays have been praised for being emotionally powerful but not sentimental, and for demonstrating Wilson’s ear for African American storytelling traditions.
The only play in the cycle not set in Pittsburgh, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” chronicles a tense 1927 recording session in Chicago that reveals truths about the exploitation of African American musicians and the tenuous nature of African American success. The film adaptation of the play was released on Netflix last month.
Wilson was one of only a handful of American playwrights to receive the Pulitzer Prize more than once. Today, he is hailed as a trailblazer for helping to bring nonmusical African American drama to the forefront of American theater.
The new Forever stamp features an oil painting of Wilson based on a 2005 photograph. Behind him, a picket fence alludes to the title “Fences.”
Art director Ethel Kessler designed this stamp with art by Tim O’Brien.
It is being issued as a Forever stamp, which will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.