Why did Wilson write the play Fences?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As with the construction of many literary works, there are many reasons that inspire creations.  One reason would be to articulate the condition of African- Americans in the early stages of integrated society.  It is often depicted that once Brown v. Board of Education became law in the American landscape, that African- Americans were able to experience full and total opportunities in American society.  The fact that there was a difficult and grueling process of people of color, specifically African- Americans, to experience opportunity and success is something that motivated Wilson, providing the historical context to the drama.  Another rationale that underscores much of Wilson's work is the depiction of real life for people of color.  The reality of the condition that surrounds African- Americans and how to navigate the social constructs of race, class, age, and gender.  These are some of the reasons why Wilson decides to write Fences.

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