Sonia Sanchez:


To Anita



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To Anita

walken like the sun u be.
move on even higher.
        those who
laugh at yo/color
        have not moved
to the blackness we be about
cuz as Curtis Mayfield be sayen
we people be darker than blue
        and quite a few
of us be yellow
        all soul/shades of
        yeah. high/yellow/black/girl
    walk yo/black/song
      cuz some of us
        be hearen yo/sweet/music.



Sonia (Benita) Sanchez was born Wilsonia Driver Sept. 9, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a poet, playwright, and educator, noted for her black activism.

Driver's mother died when she was an infant. She moved with her father and siblings to Harlem, New York City, at age nine. , and her father brought the family to Harlem, New York City, when she was nine. She received a B.A. (1955) in political science from Hunter College in Manhattan and briefly studied writing at New York University. She married and divorced Albert Sanchez.

In the 1960s Sanchez was introduced to the political activism of the times and published poetry in such journals as The Liberator, the Journal of Black Poetry, Black Dialogue, and Negro Digest. Her first book, Homecoming (1969), contained considerable invective against "white America" and "white violence"; thereafter she continued to write on what she called the "neoslavery" of blacks, socially and psychologically unfree. She also wrote about sexism, child abuse, and generational and class conflicts. A good deal of Sanchez' verse is written in American black speech patterns, eschewing formal English grammar and pronunciations.

Over the years Sanchez joined other activists in promoting black studies in schools, in agitating for the rights of African countries, and in sponsoring various other causes, such as that of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. From 1966 she taught in various universities, finally assuming a permanent post as resident poet and member of the English faculty at Temple University (Philadelphia) in 1975. Later works include homegirls & handgrenades (1984), winner of an American Book Award, and Under a Soprano Sky (1986).