Wilson’s plays were big, often sprawling and poetic, dealing primarily with the effects of slavery on succeeding generations of black Americans: from turn-of-century characters who could remember the Civil War to a prosperous middle class at the end of the century who had forgotten the past.
Wilson’s astonishing creation, which took more than 20 years to complete, was remarkable not only for his commitment to a certain structure — one play for each decade — but for the quality of the writing. It was a unique achievement in American drama. Not even Eugene O’Neill, who authored the masterpiece “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” accomplished such a monumental effort.
During that time, Wilson received the best-play Tony Award for “Fences,” plus best-play Tony nominations for six of his other plays, the Pulitzer Prize for both “Fences” and “The Piano Lesson,” and a record seven New York Drama Critics’ Circle prizes.
My personal favorite writings of August Wilson is "Fences" which is the story of Troy Maxson, a Pittsburgh garbage collector. Prevented from playing major league baseball in his youth because of segregation, he tries to dissuade his gifted son from attending college on a sports scholarship, fearing that he too will be disappointed. The play is set in 1957.
It was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle award and starred James Earl Jones On Broadway.