Name: Pamela Hilliard Owens
Date registered: April 4, 2010
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Shonda Rhimes (born January 13, 1970) is an American screenwriter, director and producer. Rhimes is best known as the creator, head writer, and executive producer of the medical drama television series Grey’s Anatomy and its spin-off Private Practice. In May 2007, Rhimes was named one of Time magazine’s 100 people who help shape the world. Rhimes was an executive producer for the medical drama series Off the Map, and developed the ABC drama series Scandal, which debuted as a mid-season replacement on April 5, 2012.
Rhimes was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of a university administrator and a college professor.Rhimes resided in Park Forest South, Illinois (now University Park), with two older brothers and three older sisters. Rhimes has stated that she exhibited an early affinity for storytelling and that her time spent as a candy striper while in high school sparked an interest in hospital environments. Rhimes attended Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois, before enrolling at Dartmouth College, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. At Dartmouth, she divided her time between fiction and directing and performing in plays. After college, she relocated to San Francisco with an older sibling and obtained a job in advertising. Rhimes would later relocate to Los Angeles to attend USC to study screenwriting. Rhimes was ranked at the top of her class and earned the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship Award. Rhimes earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television
Rhimes is currently the creator, executive producer and head writer of Grey’s Anatomy. The series debuted as a midseason replacement on March 27, 2005. The series focuses on the surgical staff at the fictional Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in Seattle, Washington. The show is still being aired.
Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2014/03/07/womens-history-month-shonda-rhimes/
Lorraine Hansberry was born on May 19, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois. She wrote A Raisin in the Sun, a play about a struggling black family, which opened on Broadway to great success. Hansberry was the first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award. Throughout her life she was heavily involved in civil rights. She died at 34 of pancreatic cancer.
In New York, Hansberry attended the New School for Social Research and then worked for Paul Robeson’s progressive black newspaper, Freedom, as a writer and associate editor from 1950 to 1953. She also worked part-time as a waitress and cashier, and wrote in her spare time. By 1956, Hansberry quit her jobs and committed her time to writing. In 1957, she joined the Daughters of Bilitis and contributed letters to their magazine, The Ladder, about feminism and homophobia. Her lesbian identity was exposed in the articles, but she wrote under her initials, L.H., for fear of discrimination.
During this time, Hansberry wrote The Crystal Stair, a play about a struggling black family in Chicago, which was later renamed A Raisin in the Sun, a line from a Langston Hughes poem. The play opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on March 11, 1959, and was a great success, having a run of 530 performances. It was the first play produced on Broadway by an African-American woman, and Hansberry was the first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award. The film version of A Raisin in the Sun was completed in 1961, starring Sidney Poitier, and received an award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1963, Hansberry became active in the Civil Rights Movement. Along with other influential people, including Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne and James Baldwin, Hansberry met with then attorney general Robert Kennedy to test his position on civil rights. In 1963, her second play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, opened on Broadway to unenthusiastic reception
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Born in Alabama on January 7, 1891, Zora Neale Hurston spent her early adulthood studying at various universities and collecting folklore from the South, the Caribbean and Latin America. She published her findings in Mules and Men. Hurston was a fixture of the Harlem Renaissance, rubbing shoulders with many of its famous writers. In 1937, she published her masterwork of fiction,Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston died in Florida in 1960.
Hurston released her first novel, Jonah’s Gourd Vine, in 1934. Two years later, she received a Guggenheim fellowship, which allowed her to work on what would become her most famous work: Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). She wrote the novel while traveling in Haiti, where she also studied local voodoo practices.
Despite all of her accomplishments, Hurston struggled financially and personally during her final decade. She kept writing, but she had difficulty getting her work published. Additionally, she experienced some backlash for her criticism of the 1955 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which called for the end of school segregation.
A few years later, Hurston had suffered several strokes and was living in the St. Lucie County Welfare Home. The once-famous writer and folklorist died poor and alone on January 28, 1960, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Fort Pierce, Florida.
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Sonia Sanchez was born Wilsonia Benita Driver on September 9, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama.
She earned a B.A. in political science from Hunter College in 1955. She also did postgraduate work at New York University and studied poetry with Louise Bogan. Sanchez formed a writers’ workshop in Greenwich Village, attended by such poets as Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), and Larry Neal. Along with Madhubuti, Nikki Giovanni, and Etheridge Knight, she formed the “Broadside Quartet” of young poets, introduced and promoted by Dudley Randall.
Sanchez is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including Morning Haiku (2010); Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems (1999); Does your house have lions? (1995), which was nominated for both the NAACP Image and National Book Critics Circle Award; Homegirls & Handgrenades (1984), which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; I’ve Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems (1978); A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women (1973); Love Poems (1973); We a BaddDDD People (1970); and Homecoming (1969).
Her published plays are Black Cats Back and Uneasy Landings (1995), I’m Black When I’m Singing, I’m Blue When I Ain’t (1982), Malcolm Man/Don’t Live Here No Mo’ (1979), Uh Huh: But How Do It Free Us? (1974), Dirty Hearts ’72 (1973), The Bronx Is Next (1970),and Sister Son/ji (1969).
Sanchez’s books for children include A Sound Investment and Other Stories (1979), The Adventures of Fat Head, Small Head, and Square Head (1973), and It’s a New Day: Poems for Young Brothas and Sistuhs (1971). She has also edited two anthologies: We Be Word Sorcerers: Twenty-five Stories by Black Americans (1973) and Three Hundred Sixty Degrees of Blackness Comin’ at You (1971).
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Born in Senegal about 1753, poet Phillis Wheatley was brought to Boston, Massachusetts, on a slave ship in 1761, and was purchased by John Wheatley as a personal servant to his wife. The Wheatleys educated Phillis, and she soon mastered Latin and Greek, and began writing poetry. She published her first poem at age 12, and her first volume of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, in 1773. She died in Boston in 1784.
While she contacted various publishers, she was unsuccessful in finding support for a second volume of poetry.
A strong supporter of America’s fight for independence, Wheatley penned several poems in honor of the Continental Army’s commander, George Washington. It’s not certain whether Washington ever read her work.
Phillis Wheatley died in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 5, 1784.
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