March 26, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik

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Sonia SanchezSonia Sanchez, author, poet and activist, will give a talk Wednesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in Bucknell Hall at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the ongoing Griot Institute for Africana Studies series "The Civil Rights Movement: Fifty Years Later."

Sanchez speaks internationally on black culture and literature, women's liberation, peace, and racial justice. Finding her voice in poetry, Sanchez evolved from a shy child with a stutter into a force of the Black Power movement of the 1960s. She was also in the forefront of the Black Studies movement and taught the first university course offered in the United States on black women.

A prolific author, Sanchez has written more than 16 books, including Homecoming, We a BaddDDD People, Love Poems, I've Been a Woman, 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, Shake Loose My Skin, and Morning Haiku.

She has published numerous plays, including Black Cats and Uneasy Landings and I'm Black When I'm Singing, I'm Blue When I Ain't. The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review is an academic journal devoted to critical examination of her work.

Sanchez, who was the poet-in-residence at Bucknell in 2002, is the recipient of numerous honors for her writing and service, including the Lucretia Mott Award, the American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades, the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Humanities, the Peace and Freedom Award from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, a PEW Fellowship in the Arts (1992-93), and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award, among many others.

The Griot Series continues in April with a talk by Ernest Green, a member of the Little Rock Nine, on April 9 (rescheduled from February due to winter weather); and a talk by human rights activist and former Black Panther member Kathleen Cleaver on April 16.

In addition, the Freedom Riders Exhibit may be seen April 16 through May 13  on the main level of the Bertrand Library. The exhibit is sponsored by the Friends of the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library and the Griot Institute for Africana Studies.

Freedom Riders is a traveling exhibition developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Major funding for the traveling exhibition was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.