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Joshunda Sanders

journalist, writer, and television producer was born in Washington, DC. His family moved to Lanham, Maryland, when his childhood home in Northeast Washington was destroyed by fire. He had two sisters and a brother. The professions and names of his parents are unknown.

One of his sisters, Gloria Johnson, told the Washington Post that Mills “had a knack for writing that was noticed very early … [she] recalled that when Mills, then 10, and her son, then 5, played with G. I. Joe toys, Mills wrote their dialogue on 3-by-5 cards” (De Moraes and Trescott).

Mills went on to earn a four-year scholarship to the University of Maryland, College Park, where he met his future collaborator and producer of the popular HBO series, The Wire, David Simon. Mills and Simon met at the student newspaper, the Diamondback When Mills graduated from college ...


Edward T. Washington

was born Theodis Wesley Shine, Jr. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the son of Theodis Wesley Shine, Sr. and Bessie Herson Shine. Before Shine’s third birthday, the family moved to Dallas, Texas. Shine credits elementary school teacher Lorna Dunlap and high school teacher Willie Burke Anderson with fueling his early passion for writing. By the time he graduated from Dallas’s Booker T. Washington High School in 1949, Shine had already written several plays.

Shine attended Howard University in Washington, DC from 1949 to 1953. There he honed his playwriting abilities under the tutelage of esteemed dramatist and educator Owen Dodson. It was Dodson who fostered Shine’s acumen in comedic and satirical writing. Sho Is Hot in the Cotton Patch, one of Shine’s earliest plays, achieved critical acclaim with its production at Howard in 1951.

From 1953 to 1955 Shine was the recipient of a Rockefeller Grant ...