He gave voice to so many feelings that so many people had.

The fewer role models you have, the harder it will be for you to imagine you could do it, too. My hope is that Genesis supports not just those emerging writers but that it's making a statement that writing is important, that the imagination being channeled to something on the page is possible.

Twenty-two years ago, he committed to an entire life's mission to write about the African-American experience. That is a huge, huge commitment. This is one man saying, 'I want to do this.' How he has changed the face of American theater is truly amazing.

If I ask myself how many writers of color are writing in the American theater, it's sad. You could count the writers being supported on two hands.