Nurturing our Future as African American Females: A Courageous Conversation

Guest Speaker


Sonia SanchezSONIA SANCHEZ is a poet, mother, activist, professor, and international lecturer on black culture and literature, women’s liberation, peace and racial justice. A sponsor of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Sanchez is also a board member of MADRIE. She has written over 16 books, including: Homecoming; We a BaddDDD People; Love Poems; I’ve Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems; A Sound Investment and Other Stories; Homegirls and Handgrenades; Under A Soprano Sky; Wounded in the House of a Friend; Does Your House Have Lions?; Like the Singing Coming off the Drums; and most recently, Shake Loose My Skin.

Sanchez is contributing editor to Black Scholar and the Journal of African Studies. Additionally, she has edited two anthologies, We Be Word Sorcerers: 25 Stories by Black Americans and 360 Degrees of Blackness Coming at You. B.MA: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review is the first African American journal that discusses the work of Sonia Sanchez and the Black Arts Movement.

The recipient of numerous awards, Ms. Sanchez has been honored with: the National Endowment for the Arts Lucretia Mott Award in 1984; the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women; the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators; the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities for 1988; the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom for 1989; and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts for 1992-93.

Sanchez’s exemplary writing skills have earned her the 1985 American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award in 1999. Does Your House Have Lions? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has received other prestigious honors, including the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 Robert Frost Medal and was named a Ford Freedman Scholar from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Her poetry was also featured in the movie, Love Jones.

Sonia Sanchez was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she held the Laura Carnell Chair in English.

Eastern Michigan University College of Education