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Sonia Sanchez and Lorenzo Thomas recall the liberation tradition of the 1960s.
1. How did Sanchez's childhood influence her writing? 2. What is happening in "We Are Here" and where does it take place? Why do you think she wrote it? If you were writing a similar poem, where would you set it and what would the action be? 3. "As long as you breathe, you will write." How does she demonstrate the truth of this in her life? 4. Who is the speaker in "I Have Walked a Long Time"? What life events are catalogued in it, and why did Sanchez choose to include these?
Sonia Sanchez is one of the most deeply moving and committed poets to emerge from the Black Arts Movement in the late sixties and seventies. A poet, activist, playwright, editor and teacher, Sanchez has significantly influenced African American literature and culture by the urgency of her sustained and powerful voice. From 1969 to the present, she has authored twelve books of poems including Homecoming (1969), We a BadddDDD People (1970), A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women (1974), homegirls & handgrenades (1984), and Under a Soprano Sky (1987), Wounded in the House of a Friend (1995), Does Your House Have Lions? (1998), and Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums: Love Poems (1998). A recipient of numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Award, 1985 American Book Award for homegirls & handgrenades, the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Humanities for 1988, and the Peace and Freedom Award from the Women International League for Peace and Freedom for 1989, she also received the Pew Fellowship in the Arts for her outstanding literary achievement. Sanchez has lectured at over 500 universities and colleges in the United States and has traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, China, Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean. She currently holds the Laura Carnell Chair in English at Temple University.
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