The Chopin 's The Piano Lesson Essay

1036 Words Jan 17th, 2016 5 Pages
America, the great country founded upon the ideals of freedom and equality for all, sadly associates “all” only with wealthy white landowning citizens. When Reconstruction ended in 1877, the Fourteenth Amendment promised black citizens equal protection under the law. With the beginning of the Progressive Era, lasting from the 1890s to the 1920s, African Americans expected significant improvements in their political and economic standings. However, white Americans influenced by racial ideology challenged the freedmen’s rights and restrained black involvement in politics. Playwright August Wilson illustrates the oppression imposed upon the black community in The Piano Lesson by revealing the discriminatory practices targeting black people. The play introduces characters who desire materialistic success, but are ultimately forced to abandon that goal due to white suppression. Although African Americans achieved minor civic rights and financial improvements from 1868 to the 1930s, The Piano Lesson exemplifies their continual struggle against overwhelming political and economic burdens through racially biased justice systems and spiraling debt cycles.
Due to discriminatory American justice systems, African Americans, as shown in The Piano Lesson, struggled with political prejudice despite attaining gains from the newly acquired citizenship. The Fourteenth Amendment aimed to give black citizens equal protection under the law, denying states the right to “enforce any law which…

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