Analysis Of The Piano Lesson By Augus August Wilson

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Just after Reconstruction, life for African Americans began to go downhill as all of their newly gained rights became suppressed because of the new laws and systems that were put in place. Many African Americans that stayed in the South did so because they wanted to continue working in agriculture, and, therefore, had the end goal of getting their own land, which let them fall into the trap that was sharecropping. Africans Americans would rent small plots of land from a landowner, and pay their debts in the form of a portion of their crops. There was also the vagrancy law, which caused any African American that was not working and had no proof that they had a job to be arrested. This leads to the convict lease system, in which wealthy, usually Caucasian American, people rented out prisoners for labor.…show more content…
The Piano Lesson was one of these plays. Set in Pittsburgh, Massachusetts, it was about a small family of African Americans. The story centers around Boy Willie Charles, and his friend, Lymon Jackson. Boy Willie, who lives in the South, drove up North to Pittsburgh with Lymon, so as to make enough money to be able to buy his own plot of land. To do that, however, he needs to sell a family heirloom which his sister is not willing to let go of. Though African Americans made some progress from the 1880s to the 1930s, August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson illustrates how the convict lease system and sharecropping caused an overwhelming lack of social and economic
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