An award winning playwright, bestselling novelist, published poet and popular newspaper columnist, Pearl Cleage has earned praise from critics and from her peers for her passionate writing across several genres. An incredibly multi-faceted talent, Cleage offers a fresh perspective on the universal themes of cultural enrichment, social identity and the power of love. With the rhythms of Black life as her muse, she focuses on the experiences of love, sex and female empowerment that she sees as vital to the African American community. As the New York Times said: “Cleage writes with amazing grace and killer instinct.”
Cleage has a way with both character and language. Widely regarded for her collection of plays, her play Flyin’ West was the most produced new play in the country in 1994 and has enjoyed multiple productions every year following its world premiere. She is also the author of many best-selling books, including What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, Seen It All and Done the Rest and Just Wanna Testify. Most recently, Cleage published her memoir, Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies Lessons and Love Affairs, giving readers an insight into her world and personal journey.
An important advocate for women, Pearl’s work speaks to women from all walks of life. Her poem, “We Speak Your Names,” co-authored with husband, Zaron W. Burnett, Jr., provided the centerpiece of Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Weekend honoring 25 extraordinary African American women. At Cleage’s invitation, this “praise poem” has frequently been adapted for sisterhood celebrations across the country. Cleage’s 1990 collection of essays and performance pieces Mad at Miles: A Black Woman’s Guide to Truth, is a classic among those working to end violence against women. Making the personal unapologetically political by sharing her own experience of domestic violence, Cleage issues a passionate call for community wide, gender integrated responses to a problem too often hidden in the shadows or relegated to simply a “women’s issue.” Mad at Miles has been adapted for the stage and is frequently performed around the country.
With a quiet, straightforward tone, Cleage speaks honesty and with creativity, blending truth and humor to fully charm audiences. Cleage connects with audiences of all kinds, bringing her powerful and inspirational energy to each of her artful presentations. Conveying a deep understanding of the grace and perils of the human condition, she endlessly strives to get to what the real truths are in life and shares how we can all live them to the fullest.
All American Speakers is a speakers bureau and booking agency providing information on booking Pearl Cleage for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Pearl Cleage speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next event.
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