An analysis of the black consciousness in the 1950s in fences by august wilson

His father, Frederick August Kittel Sr.

An analysis of the black consciousness in the 1950s in fences by august wilson

Wilson was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. His father drifted in an out of his family. His mother and a stepfather, David Bedford, mostly raised Wilson. When Wilson was sixteen, he was accused of plagiarism at school when he wrote a sophisticated paper that the administration did not believe he could write.

When Wilson's principal would not recognize the validity of Wilson's work, she suspended him and later ignored his attempts to come back to school.

Wilson soon dropped out and educated himself at the local library, reading everything he could find. In the 's, Wilson steeped himself in the black power movement while he worked on his poetry and short stories. Eventually, in the sixties, Wilson reinvented himself as a playwright.

His work was nurtured through institutions like the Yale School of Drama, where the Dean of the Drama School at the time, theatre director Lloyd Richards, recognized Wilson's talent.

Richards later collaborated with Wilson in New York on Broadway. Wilson has taken upon himself the responsibility to write a play about black experiences in the United States for every decade of the 20th century.

Tribute to August Wilson: Breaking Down Fences

Only two decades remain, the first years of the century and the 's. Fences is his play about blacks in the 's. Beginning inbetween the Korean and Vietnam wars, Fences ends inbut the themes of the play directly place its consciousness in a pre-civil-rights-movement, pre-Vietnam-war-era psyche.

Fences takes place in a still latent time. In Fences as in Wilson's other plays, a tragic character helps pave the way for other blacks to have opportunities under conditions they were never free to experience, but never reap from their own sacrifice and talents themselves.

This is Troy Maxson's situation. Troy's last name, "Maxson," is a compressed reference to the Mason-Dixon line, considered as the imaginary line originally conceived of in to define the separation between the slave states and the free states. Maxson represents an amalgamation of Troy's history in the south and present life in the north that are inextricably linked.

When Fences takes place, blacks like Aaron proved they could not only compete with white ballplayers, but that they would be leaders in the professional league.

An analysis of the black consciousness in the 1950s in fences by august wilson

All of Wilson's plays take place in his hometown of Pittsburgh, and Fences is no exception. The Pittsburgh of the Maxson family is a town where Troy and other men of his generation fled from the savage conditions of sharecropping in the south. After Reconstruction failed, many blacks walked north as far as they could go to become urban citizens.

Having no resources or infrastructure to depend on, men like Bono and Troy found their way in the world by spending years living in shacks, stealing, and in jail. Wilson clearly draws a linear link between the release of the slaves to the disproportionate number of black men in our jails and in low-income occupations by arguing that the majority of a homeless, resource-less group let loose into a competitive and financed society will have a hard time surviving lawfully.

Wilson's characters testify to the fact that the United States failed blacks after Lincoln abolished slavery and that the government's failure, made effective legally through Jim Crow laws and other lawful measures to ensure inequality, continues to effect many black lives.

Wilson portrays the s as a time when a new world of opportunity for blacks began to open up, leaving those like Troy, who grew up in the first half of the century, to feel like a stranger in their own land."Fences" is part of August Wilson's "Pittsburg Cycle," a collection of ten plays.

Each drama explores a different decade in the 20th century, and each examines the lives and struggles of African-Americans.

On October 16, , fourteen days after Wilson's death, the Virginia Theatre in New York City's Broadway Theater District was renamed the August Wilson Theatre. It is the first Broadway theatre to bear the name of an African-American.

An analysis of the black consciousness in the 1950s in fences by august wilson

Boundaries in August Wilson’s Fences The early ’s was a time of enormous importance because of the Civil Rights Movement which emphasized equal rights for blacks and whites.

According to the book Approaching Literature, this time period became very familiar to August Wilson, the author of the play Fences. Analysis of Fences by August Wilson Essay - The theme of August Wilson’s play “Fences” is the coming of age in the life of a broken black man.

Wilson wrote about the black experience in different decades and the struggle that many blacks faced, and that is seen in “Fences” because there are two different generations portrayed in Troy and Cory.

Fences In , August Wilson’s “Fences” was created as the fifth part of his Pittsburg Cycle of dramas of the 20th Century investigation of the evolution of black culture (Gantt, 1; Gantt, 2).

The play has an influx of symbolism and metaphors that tells the late life story of /5(5). Fences is informed by Wilson’s belief that a man should have responsibility for his family.

Shannon, Sandra G. The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press,

August Wilson's Fences