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“What we do now becomes history by which our grandchildren will judge us.” August Wilson’s words, delivered in a speech at Theatre Communications Group’s conference in June 1996, remain as vital and relevant today as they did 25 years ago.
Fierce and passionate, The Ground on Which I Stand is Wilson’s eloquent, personal call for African American artists to seize the power over their own cultural identity and to establish permanent institutions that celebrate and preserve the singular achievements of African American dramatic art and reaffirm its equal importance in contemporary American culture. It is an urgent appeal for an overhaul to the established system in order to provide equitable access and influence throughout the field.
Delivered as the keynote address at TCG’s conference, this speech refocused the agenda of the entire convening, and spurred months of debate about cultural diversity in the American theatre, culminating in a standing-room-only public debate at New York City’s Town Hall. This 25th anniversary edition celebrates Wilson’ s legacy and acts as an essential reminder of the work that still needs to be done.