The Effects Of Racial Discrimination On African American Families

1209 Words Dec 2nd, 2015 5 Pages
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, the audience is given the exact year and a general description of the area in which the Maxson family lives: “The setting is the yard which fronts the only entrance to the Maxson household, an ancient two-story brick house set back off of a small alley in a big-city neighborhood” (Wilson 1053). The locale of the play can arguably be set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to a segment about Wilson in the Tampa Bay Times, Wilson used The Hills District, the place he grew up, as the setting of nearly all of his works in The Pittsburgh Cycle. In fact, the famous playwright Zeller said, “They’re not plays about Pittsburgh; they’re plays about America that happen to be set in Pittsburgh. But you can tell the whole story right here. You had…

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