The Effect Of Racial Discrimination On African American Families

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The Effect of Racial Discrimination on African American Families
In the 1950’s, U.S. race relations began progressing toward an equal way of living for all people. August Wilson’s play Fences concerns a Black family in 1957, and is in a series titled “The Pittsburgh Cycle” in which Fences is number six. His purpose for writing these plays was to give prominence to the African American experience in the U.S. throughout the twentieth century. Nearly all of the plays written in the series are set in Pittsburgh, including Fences. Wilson uses the given circumstances of setting and social environment as well as characters’ dialogue to show the way in which racial discrimination can place strain on African American families.
Before the play begins,
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Since Troy faces such terrible discrimination, the only way he gains his power back is by treating his family in a way as though they owe him something. Seeking further into the dynamics of this father-son relationship, when Cory describes his desire to pursue college football, Troy immediately shoots it down: “The White man ain’t gonna let you go nowhere with that football noway” ( Act 1 Scene 3 1074). Troy’s spirit still remains broken from his past rejection from a pro baseball team, and his bitterness continues to feed his blindness toward to the ever changing world around …show more content…
Racial discrimination is one of the main reasons that Cory and Troy have such a deep rift. Cory is trying to follow the movement toward progression, and Troy remains content in staying bitter from how he and his ancestors were treated. Author Isabel Wilkerson wrote about the Great Migration in her book titled, “The warmth of other suns”. In this she states, “ Many of the people who left the South never exactly sat their children down to tell them these things, tell them what happened and why they left” (Wilkerson 45). Wilkerson argues that the evils many blacks faced in the South were too hard to relive. It is for this reason that Troy is very guarded with Cory. Troy does not realize that the lack of explanation given about his past contributes to a deeper riff in the relationship with his son. This is an example of a common generation gap back in the twentieth century. Culture was changing at a rapid pace, and Cory’s desire to pursue college is foreign to Troy. Due to racial discrimination, Troy was never given the opportunity to go to college. There seems to be an underlying tone of resentment from Troy towards Cory. Cory is given many more opportunities for his future than Troy ever received, which explains why he sabotages Cory’s chance to be

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