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Category: Mississippi

Southern Lit 2: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Last night, I finished reading August Wilson’s play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” about an ill-fated blues recording session in 1927. Unlike in “Fences” or “The Piano Lesson,” which both had a distinct character who was driving the plot, this play had three characters who I though could have been that force: the slow and steady band leader Cutler, the brash and innovative trumpet player Levee, or the self-important blues singer Ma Rainey. Most likely that character was Levee, as his arrangement of the focal song “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was… Read more Southern Lit 2: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”