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Poet Sonia Sanchez At UMKC

Poet. Activist. One of the architects of Black Studies programs at universities. These are some of the many roles Sonia Sanchez has played in her life.

Sanchez has been called one of the most important writers of the Black Arts Movement.  In the late 1960s and 70s, her poetry reverberated with the themes of reclaiming black identity and self-determination.  At 77, Sanchez still lectures internationally on black culture and literature, women's liberation, peace and racial justice.  She's now professor emeritus at Temple University and was recently named Poet Laureate of Philadelphia.                                                 

Sonia Sanchez was recently invited to Kansas City by UMKC's Black Studies Department.  Before her reading, KCUR's Susan Wilson interviewed her about her life and career in front of an audience at UMKC.

(The first audio clip here is the produced version of the interview which ran on KC Currents. It runs 17 minutes. The second clip is the full, unedited interview, which is 46 minutes long.)

This story was produced for KC Currents, which airs Sundays at 5pm with a repeat Mondays at 8pm. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KCCurrents podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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