Fans and scholars of the late playwright August Wilson are celebrating the new August Wilson Forever stamp that was unveiled Jan. 28, 2021, by the U.S. Postal Service. It is the 44th stamp in the Black Heritage Series.
At the livestreamed ceremony, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Delivery Operations Vice President Joshua Colin called Wilson “a trailblazer who brought fresh perspectives and previously unheard voices to the stage.”
Others commenting on Wilson’s impact were his widow Constanza Romero; his daughter Sakina Ansari; actor and director Phylicia Rashad; and actor Stephen McKinely Henderson. The ceremony featured a number of images provided by the August Wilson Archive, acquired last fall by Pitt’s University Library System.
The new stamp features an oil painting of Wilson by artist Tim O’Brien, based on a 2005 photograph. The picket fence behind Wilson alludes to “Fences,” Wilson’s 1985 play that won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for its Broadway production. It was also made into a 2016 film.
“Fences” is the sixth play in Wilson’s acclaimed “American Century Cycle”—10 emotionally-powerful plays that demonstrate Wilson’s ear for African-American storytelling traditions.
Nine of the plays are set in Wilson’s hometown of Pittsburgh.