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|During the 1950s Troy Maxson struggles against racism and tries to preserve his feelings of pride in himself. *Author: Wilson, August *Publication Date: 1995/03/01 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 0.50 *Width: 5.25 *Height: 8.00|
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During the 1950s Troy Maxson struggles against racism and tries to preserve his feelings of pride in himself.
In an interview with the New York Times, Wilson stated that, although he grew up impoverished in Pittsburgh's Hill District, his elders (in particular his parents--a baker and a cleaning woman) "shielded us from the indignities they suffered" as blacks in the United States. However, still feeling the profound humiliations of racism, he dropped out of school at 16 and pursued his education independently, using the resources offered by the public library while he held a series of menial jobs. During this time he began writing, publishing poems in a University of Pittsburgh journal devoted to the writing of African-Americans. As an ambitious 23-year-old, he co-founded Black Horizons on the Hill in 1968, a theater company devoted to work reflecting the black experience. Around this time, Wilson encountered the collage art of Romare Bearden. Bearden's depictions of the universality of African-American life inspired Wilson, who also sought to depict the epic aspects of his culture. In 1978 he relocated to Minnesota, using the perspective of distance to finally focus artistically on his hometown. There he wrote the play JITNEY, and his reputation began to grow. When he was awarded a trip to the National Playwrights Conference for MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, written shortly thereafter, he met Lloyd Richards of the Yale Repertory Theater. With Richards's help, the play was produced in that prestigious venue, from which it moved on to Broadway in 1984. Wilson's national reputation was now solidified, and he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 and again in 1990. For most of his career, Wilson has been engaged in creating a cycle of 10 plays about the African-American experience, each set in a different decade of the 20th century.
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