New York City
Joe Turners Come and Gone deals with a number of issues, including the unseen scars of slavery, the differences between religion and spirituality, the struggles of beginning a new life, and the importance for all Americans to find and understand their own song.
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright August Wilson, is the second installment of his decade-by-decade chronicle of the African-American experience. The play was inspired both by the 1978 Romare Bearden artwork Mill Hand’s Lunch Bucket and the blues song Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. The song, which was recorded by legendary blues artist W. C. Handy, was first sung by many estranged black women who had lost their husbands, fathers, and sons to Joe Turner–a plantation owner who illegally enslaved blacks in the early twentieth century.
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