Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Essay

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In the following essay, Elam studies how Wilson uses blues music to treat themes related to the African-American experience in  Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

Somewhere along the way it dawned on me that I
was writing one play for each decade.Once I became
conscious of that, I realized I was trying to focus on
what I felt were the important issues confronting
Black Americans for that decade, so ultimately they
could stand as a record of Black experience over the
past hundred years presented in the form of dramatic
literature. What you end up with is a kind of review, or
reexamination of history . . . The importance of history
to me is simply to find out who you are and where
you've been. It becomes doubly important if someone
else has been writing your history. I think Blacks in
America need to re-examine their time spent here...











(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 6,801 words
(approx. 18 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Study Guide
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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.