“I got the power of death” (Wilson 29). You might recognize this quote from Boy Willie in The Piano Lesson by August Wilson an African American play writer. In this essay I am going to highlight some things about his life. According to (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia) August Wilson was born on April 27, 1945 in the town of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He was born Frederick August Kittel, Jr. Son of a German immigrant named Frederick August Kittel and his mother was an African-American named Daisy Wilson. August was the fourth out of six children. He and his siblings were raised in a two-room apartment above a grocery store for most of August Wilsons childhood.
After Wilson's parents divorced his mother married David Bedford, his mother and his siblings moved to a mostly white suburb in the Oakland section in 1961. After being bullied from the student’s everyday he transferred to Connelly Vocational High School, and later on to Gladstone High School. According to (www.biography.com) when August was 15 years old, he pursued an independent education at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. August dropped out because of his teacher accusing him of plagiarizing a twenty page report about Napoleon.
According to the World Book (Adler) “August Wilson was a leading African American play wright. His work is a cycle of ten plays called "The Pittsburgh Cycle" that traces the black experience in America.” Mr.Wilson did a total number of ten play based on the 20th century. A play for each decade. August wrote about the ever changing texture of the African American life. The play for each decade idea didn't come to him till later when he looked at the dates of his previous plays; 1911, 1927, 1941, 1957, and 1971. He thought about it and the idea of a play per decade pleased him.
When I was researching August Wilson I found his birth name and wondered “why did he change his name?” So I searched for the answer. I didn’t find a direct answer but I came to a few conclusions. August Wilson former known as Frederick August Kittel was a child that was deprived of a father. His father wasn’t in his life very much until his mom finally divorced Frederick August Kittel and remarried. The remarriage gave him an opportunity to move from the slum part of town to the rich white part of town. When August Wilsons biological father Frederick died in 1965. So Frederick August Kittel Jr changed his name to honor his mother for single handedly raising a family on her own and to totally put his father out of his life.
The same year Frederick August Kittel Sr died August Wilson moved out of his mother's house. He found shelter in a nearby lodging facility and picked up a job as a cook. Being a cook isn't what Wilson wanted to do so he tried so eagerly and desperately tried to become a successful poet and writer. But writing them would of been virtually impossible if it wasn't for his sister Freda that gave him twenty dollars for a typewriter. After his awareness of the treatment of...