Frank B. Wilderson III

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Frank B Wilderson, III (born April 11, 1956, New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American writer, dramatist, filmmaker and critic. He is a full professor of Drama and African American studies at the University of California, Irvine. He received his BA in government and philosophy from Dartmouth College, his Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia University and his PhD in Rhetoric and Film Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.


Wilderson grew up in a white "integrated" enclave during the height of the U.S. civil rights movement. As a child he lived around or near colleges or universities and was familiar with student activists and intellectuals who visited his parents' home.[1]

In the 1990s, he lived in South Africa, teaching at University of Witwatersrand, was one of two Americans elected to the African National Congress, and was a member of Umkhonto We Sizwe.[2] During his time in South Africa he taught regularly at universities and helped the ANC to develop anti-apartheid propaganda.

Critical work[edit]

Wilderson's work is an unflinching[peacock term] paradigmatic analysis of the positions of Black slavery and Red genocide produced by white civil society through film.[clarification needed] Wilderson's work is self described as afro-pessimist.[clarification needed]

His work has appeared in Social Identities; Social Justice, Les Temps Modernes, O Magazine Konch, Callaloo Obsidian II, and Paris Transcontinental.

Dramatist work[edit]

He has worked as a dramaturge for Lincoln Center Theater's productions of Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes's Mule Bone and Mbongeni Ngema's Township Fever; and for the Market Theater in Johannesburg's production of George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum.

He directed the film Reparations…...Now.


"As I told a friend of mine, ‘yeah we’re going to help you get rid of Israel, but the moment that you set up your shit we’re going to be right there to jack you up, because anti-Blackness is as important and necessary to the formation of Arab psychic life as it is to the formation of Jewish psychic life.’"[3]


  • The Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement of the Highest Order
  • The Judith Stronach Award for Poetry
  • The Crothers Short Story Award
  • The Jerome Foundation Artists and Writers Award
  • The Loft-McKnight Award for Best Prose in the State of Minnesota
  • The Maya Angelou Award for Best Fiction Portraying the Black Experience in America.
  • 2008 American Book Award, for Incognegro


  • Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of US Antagonisms (Duke University Press).
  • Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile & Apartheid. South End Press. 2008. ISBN 978-0-89608-783-5. 



  1. ^ Wilderson, Frank B. Incognegro : A Memoir of Exile & Apartheid / Frank B. Wilderson, III. Cambridge, Mass.: South End, 2008. Print.
  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ "Frank B Wilderson III We're Trying to Destroy the World" (PDF). Retrieved 18 August 2016.