Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

A Play in Two Acts

Book - 1985
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Penguin Putnam
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences and The Piano Lesson
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play

The time is 1927. The place is a run-down recording studio in Chicago. Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer, is due to arrive with her entourage to cut new sides of old favorites. Waiting for her are her black musician sidemen, the white owner of the record company, and her white manager. What goes down in the session to come is more than music. It is a riveting portrayal of black rage, of racism, of the self-hate that racism breeds, and of racial exploitation.

Publisher: New York : Plume, 1985
ISBN: 9780452261136
Characteristics: 111 p. ; 20 cm


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Dec 14, 2016

I saw this play at the Court Theater in maybe 2009. That was excellent. Reading the play brought a lot of it back to me. I think everyone should experience this and the first few plays of the Pittsburgh Cycle and you'll be hooked. To paraphrase Philip Roth, this is not just the African-American experience, this is an American experience. A great play with beautiful, brilliant, flawed people.

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