American Masters

Monologue from "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" by August Wilson

Clip: 02/20/2015 | 47s

"White folks don’t understand about the blues," says Ma Rainey in the play, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," set in a Chicago recording studio in 1927. This dramatic reading created for August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand is performed by Ebony Jo-Ann. The play premiered in 1984 at Yale Repertory Theatre and opened on Broadway the same year to win a New York Drama Critics Circle award.

Aired: 02/20/15

Rating: TV-PG

Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning

Support for American Masters is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AARP, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Rosalind P. Walter Foundation, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judith & Burton …

A front row seat to the creative process


A front row seat to the creative process

How do today’s masters create their art? Each episode an artist reveals how they brought one of their iconic works to life. Hear from artists across disciplines, like singer Buffy Sainte-Marie, filmmaker John Waters, actor John David Washington, and more on our podcast "American Masters: Creative Spark."