American Masters

Phylicia Rashad Performs "Gem of the Ocean" Aunt Ester Scene

Clip: Season 29 Episode 2 | 2m 23s

In August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean," Aunt Ester is a matriarch and former slave. Phylicia Rashad performed the role on Broadway and in a dramatic reading created for August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand, she enacts when Ester reveals the existence of the spiritual and symbolic City of Bones, made from African ancestors who died while crossing the Atlantic Ocean during the Middle Passage.

Aired: 02/20/15

Rating: TV-PG

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Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Vital Projects Fund, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Lenore Hecht Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers.