Few American playwrights have been as explicit in naming influnces as August WIlson. In the dozens of interviews Wilson has granted in the eight years since Ma Rainey's Black Bottom appeared on Broadway in 1984. Wilson has been unusually forthcoming not only in citing his influences but in explaining specifically how the four B's can be found in his plays.
I hope you had an opportunity to see the report on 60 Minutes last night on Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Hrabowski is himself a scientist and has been president of UMBC since 1992. His mission—and that of UMBC—is to increase the number of minority students who enter and graduate in STEM majors. UMBC has had extraordinary success and has graduated more minority students in STEM fields than any other university.