Discrimination Of African Americans In August Wilson's Fences

1120 Words5 Pages

Maya Boilen
Mrs. Fontanilla
Academic English III
9 May 2023
Is the purpose of a fence to keep people out or hide the fears of someone? Fences are more than just an object around a yard or an area of land. Fences are the barriers that people set to protect themselves from harm, but also a way of isolating themselves from the rest of the world. Fences are representative of the discrimination African American face in America. Fences is an award winning play written in 1985 by August Wilson. Set in the 1950s, the play portrays the life of an African American family living in Pittsburg. Troy Maxson is a former baseball player and now works as a garbage collector. Troy struggles with discrimination all throughout his life and only wants what is best …show more content…

Troy lived in a world that because of his race and unequal opportunities growing up, he already has two strikes. Troy has to watch out for everything because people can throw another strike at him at any moment. Troy claims, “You got to guard it closely . . . always looking for the curve-ball on the inside corner” (Wilson 2.1.47). He only has 1 more opportunity to prove himself and tries to do this by protecting his family. Troy wants to shield his family from everything and doesn’t allow them to do what they want. While trying to do what's best for his family, Troy had to deal with problems at work and financially. It was not easy for Troy to make money and he was given harder jobs. Troy had trouble “to provide financial support, and [...] often [found himself] with new obligations when [he fathered a child] with another partner” (Lerman). Troy’s personal personal problems caused him to lose touch with Cory. Troy had an affair with another woman and ended up getting her pregnant. The woman, Alberta, died during childbirth and Troy had to take on the responsibility of caring for the child. He was not able to do it by himself and after cheating on his wife, he asked her to help him raise the …show more content…

African Americans moved to the North so they can be more free. It was not until the Maxson’s had actually moved, when Troy realized the North was no more accepting than the South and he would have to deal with the same discrimination. It was very difficult for Troy to provide for his family financially since he could not find a well paying job. Being in a minority meant Troy could not accomplish his dreams of playing ball and same for his son Cory. The role of race can cause complications in family relationships due to the struggle of fitting in. Wilson uses the character of Troy Maxon to explain growing as African American and issues they had to face. Race can lead to separation of people and conflicts. Nothing should stop someone from achieving their dreams. If someone works hard enough for something they will not fail.

Works Cited
King, Margaret A., and Alfred L. Karlson. An Examination of the Relationship Between Racial Preferences in Black Children and Their Self Concept. 1 Jan. 1979. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=eric&AN=ED169150&site=ehost-live.
Lerman, Robert I. “Capabilities and Contributions of Unwed Fathers.” Future of Children, vol. 20, no. 2, Sept. 2010, pp. 63–85. EBSCOhost,search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=eric&AN=EJ901823&site=ehost-live.
Wilson, August. Fences. New York, The Penguin Group,

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