This is entry #62 in our 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.
Philosopher: Dr. Martha C. Beck, Lyon College
Artwork: Fences, 2016, American drama directed by Denzel Washington and written by August Wilson, based on Wilson’s 1983 play, Fences
Words: This play exposes the long-term impacts of the deep-seated racism in American society. Its release at the end of 2016, soon after the presidential election, provided an opportunity for Americans to think more deeply about pervasive racism. The movie Loving, written and directed by Jeff Nichols, was released simultaneously. Both movies describe pervasive patterns, the artist by creating archetypes and the docudramatist through a historical event. Audiences should recognize these patterns and try to change. Both artists present citizens with stories that expose the dark side of their societies, hoping to bring about a higher level of civilization.