Cultural Context Essay - Jones 1 Alana Jones Professor...

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Jones 1 Alana Jones Professor Stricklin English Composition 22 Friday 2019 Black Fences of Oppression August Wilson was born on April 27, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to a black mother and a white father (Britannica). He and his five other siblings resided in a predominantly black area in Pittsburgh with their mother; his biological father left him and his family behind (Britannica). Wilson’s mother later became married to a black man, and his family moved out to Hazelwood; the suburbs of Pittsburgh (Britannica). While growing up there, he was exposed to some of the racial problems blacks dealt with. Before the 1950s, blacks were living in fear of the white man, and all of the power they had over them (Racial Segregation: 1950s and Today). There weren’t many changes taking place that could help make life easier in the black community, and his family fell victim to the racial injustices projected on blacks. Wilson’s family was constantly bombarded with intimidating remarks from white people, simply because they were black (Britannica). His background of having a black mother and step-father gives him first hand experiences for knowing what blacks deal with on a day to day basis. He later dropped out of school and instead began to teach himself about the black movements by constantly reading (Britannica). Wilson became fascinated with black culture, and many of Wilson’s works center around the outlook into the black community and the problems they suffered from (Britannica. His background plays a major role in his works because he is able to personally connect with the issues his writing addresses. Fences, for example, gives the reader an insight on the way black children were raised and how many blacks oppressed themselves during the
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Jones 2 1950s. August Wilson uses Troy in Fences to support the self oppression many blacks placed on themselves during the 1950s by creating destructive patterns, being fearful, and succumbing to what they believe all life will be. Majority of all blacks in the South during the 1950s had encountered oppression at some point. Blacks were oppressed with Jim Crow laws, lynchings, hate crimes, threats, and derogatory labels during this time period (Civil Rights Movement). To counter this oppression, many blacks took part in events such as the Civil Rights Movement. On the contrary, while there were powerful movements in place, there were still many blacks that were afraid to partake in these deadly altercations. By some blacks being intimidated by the white man, they held themselves back, therefore falling victim of self oppression. The self-respect blacks had for themselves was torn down through the overbearing effects of racism. Blacks were constantly being stereotyped and many of the classifications that were labeled on them, started to conform their mindsets and made them believe those horrible things. The zombifying self-oppression blacks lived in can relate back to Troy in Fences . Troy grew up motherless with eleven siblings, and was raised by his abusive father.
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  • Fall '18
  • chris
  • Fences, White people, August Wilson, pummels Troy

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