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File #: 190774    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 10/3/2019 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 10/3/2019
Title: Congratulating Sonia Sanchez on the well-deserved honor of the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sponsors: Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Reynolds Brown
Attachments: 1. Signature19077400
Congratulating Sonia Sanchez on the well-deserved honor of the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award.
WHEREAS, Sonia Sanchez was born Wilsonia Benita Driver on September 9, 1934 in Birmingham, Alabama. From an early age, she developed a passion for observing and listening to the way people spoke. She loved to listen to the voices and sounds of her grandmother and aunts in the kitchen preparing meals; and
WHEREAS, Sanchez developed a stutter after the devastating loss of her beloved grandmother when she was six. While the stutter caused her to become introverted, it also led her to read more and to pay close attention to language and its sounds; and
WHEREAS, Sanchez found a new sonic experience when her father moved the family to Harlem in New York City in 1943, when she was nine. She says there was a fast-paced rhythm to the city - everything from groups of girls on playgrounds jumping double-dutch rope, to the rapid clip of New York speech. She would later adopt such patterns to her poems; and
WHEREAS, When in Harlem, she overcame her stutter and excelled in school, finding her poetic voice which later emerged during her studies at Hunter College. Sanchez focuses on the sound of her poetry, admitting to always reading her poetry aloud, receiving praise for her use of the full range of African and African-American vocal resources. She is known for her sonic range and dynamic public readings. She now terms herself an "ordained stutterer"; and
WHEREAS, Sanchez earned a B.A. in political science in 1955 from Hunter College. After, she pursued post-graduate studies at New York University (NYU), working closely with Louise Bogan, the first woman to hold the title of Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress. During her time at NYU, Sanchez formed a writers' workshop in Greenwich Village. From this group, the "Broadside Quartet" was born, and it included other prominent artists of the Black Arts Movement; and
WHEREAS, Sonia Sanchez is a teacher. She taug...

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