August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Hello to those who actually decided they care enough to read about my opinions lol. This is another segment of “Stephyne tries to review art by prestigious writers which she one day hopes to be on their level” or as I like to call it,  my monthly literary review! 

If you have never heard of the name, August Wilson, be prepared to be amazed. August Wilson was a playwright who captured the joy and struggles of the African American experience through his art. According to the Huntington Theatre, ” The impact of Wilson’s work has made a lasting mark on American theatre, and opened doors to conversations about the black experience in the United States. Wilson was attracted to the theatre and its potential to reach audiences, no matter the class or race.” Mr. Wilson has many accolades including a Tony award for his play Fences and and two Pulitzer Prizes.  

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand |August Wilson biography and  timeline | American Masters | PBS
Ma Rainey - Wikipedia

The play I will be reviewing is Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Ma Rainey was a influential blues singer who is known as the Mother of Blues. Her sound is soulfully, strong, painfully, yet filled with joy.

Mr. Wilson play is a fictional story that surrounds Ma Rainey and her band. The setting is placed in the recording session of her hit song, “Black Bottom”. 

I watched the screen adaptation of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on Netflix. The film starred talented and well known stars such as Viola Davis,  Chadwick Bozeman, Gylnn Turman, and Coloman Domingo. The movie was filled with black comedy, black joy, black talent, black dreams, and finally black pain. 

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom movie review (2020) | Roger Ebert

I inspire to write about the black experience vulnerable as August Wilson did. He is the an example of a true artist capturing the art of human interaction. I recommend his plays and movies to anyone. Not only those apart of the black diaspora even though we will identify with it more. I also recommend this to any young writer who is in desperate need of motivation to create truth. August Wilson is the perfect writer and I can only hope I walk through the doors he has opened for any black playwright.

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