August Wilson's play Joe Turner's Come and Gone is a fine example of a Black Nationalist writing that deals with the problems of race and the feelings of being a foreigner in your own land. Wilson uses a metaphor of a song to describe the struggles that the characters face in his play. The characters softly speak of racism and persecution for their color, but the play does not dwell on the subject. Wilson puts an average black husband and wife onstage and allows the audience to form their own opinions on the struggles of those who come to stay at their boarding house.
Wilson starts his play by describing the situation the blacks faced in 1911, the opening narration set the mood for the rest of the play:
Foreigners in a strange land, they carry as part and parcel of their baggage a long line of separation and dispersement which informs their sensibilities and marks their conduct as they search for ways to reconnect, to reassemble, to give clear and luminous meaning to the song which is both a wail and a whelp of joy.
Wilson uses a "song which is both a wail and a whelp of joy" to describe the struggle that the African Americans of the early 20th century were facing. Racism and the feeling of being unwanted by society surrounded the blacks of the time. Wilson describes these "foreigners in a strange land" and tells of the "separation and dispersement" that his people faced. His story, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, sings a song that is both good and bad. The song describes the struggle of the characters as they search for a meaning of the "song", each character coming from different backgrounds and beliefs. The story does not deal strictly with...