In Act I, scene I of Fences, what policy at the sanitation department is Troy challenging? Why has it caused a stir?

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price7781 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Troy,in the play, Fences, has led a life trying to achieve what he thinks is due him.  In prison for robbery, he learns to play baseball.  He's quite good at it, and after his release, joins the Negro Baseball League.  Troy, however, is not satisfied and wants to join the segregated major leagues.  Because his dreams of fame as a baseball player don't happen, Troy is always fighting against a system that is unfair to him as a black man.  As he ages, he is unsatisfied about everything in his life--his wife, his sons, and his job. The title, Fences, is symbolic of the distance he puts between himself and his family and how he keeps people (especially his son, Lyons) out of his world by pushing them away.

Troy works for a garbage company when the play opens.  All of the garbage truck drivers are white leaving Troy and the other black employees to do the hard work of emptying trash cans in the truck.  Troy fights against the garbage company and approaches his boss about the discrimination.  Fortunately, Troy is promoted to a driver. It is the one success he has in his dream to get ahead and feel worthy.  

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