Sonia Sanchez First Of Black History Month Speakers At Mount Union College

April 22, 2010

Mount Union College kicked off Black History Month with guest speaker Sonia Sanchez, a poet, playwright, and retired professor from Temple University.


Sanchez, born in Birmingham, Ala. in 1934, has written 16 books, and numerous plays, including "The Bronx is Next" and "Malcom/Man Don't Live Here No Mo'." She was nominated in 1998 for the NAACP Image Awards and the National Book Critics Circle for Does Your House Have Lions?, which tells of her brother's death from AIDS. She has lectured at over 500 universities, and has shared her poetry worldwide in Chile, Canada, Africa, Australia, Norway, and China.

She has also been involved in many protests in her lifetime, including one in New York City that would allow African Americans to join unions in the 1960s.

When Sanchez moved to New York City, she joined the New York activist group CORE, where she met Malcolm X. She admitted to being afraid of him, but she said that she feared him because he would say aloud what he thought. She deeply respected Malcolm X and also said, "It's an amazing country, one that kills their men before 40."

She also pointed out that to understand history, you must understand all aspects of it. "You cannot understand Ben Franklin's autobiography without reading Fredrick Douglass's autobiography [?] You cannot understand 'Gone with the Wind' without reading Margaret Walker's 'Jubilee,'" said Sanchez.

Sanchez also shared her own poetry to the students, faculty, and community members in attendance.

On Thursday, February 21, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, author, psychiatrist, educator and social critic, will present the McKinley Lecture at 10:35 a.m. in Presser Recital Hall.

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