Culture, Music, Style: August Wilson's Exploration

The depth, passion and power encapsulated in the words is unimaginably intense. The breathtaking reality of the moment stirs the deepest emotions. August Wilson’s classic play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a thought provoking glimpse at the 1920s music industry and race and religion issues brewing in black culture. Wilson refuses to hold back as he explores the complex relationships of the time. One of Wilson’s greatest works, Ma Rainey’s is a must see if you get the chance, or a must read if you don’t.

Even amongst the seriousness of the work, Wilson infuses the play with laughable moments — with style at the forefront. Fast talking, smooth dressing fellas. Feminine, sassy, bold ladies. The personalities intermingle to formulate an amazing dynamic.

As we begin this Black History Month, we’ll leave you with a line from the play–one that’s quite B.J.esque if you ask us.

“Style ain’t nothing but keeping the same idea from beginning to end. Everybody got it.” ~Toledo from Ma Rainey’s


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