Ma Rainey Black Bottom

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  • 176 pages
  • 200+ illustrations
  • Silk Hardcover
  • Released in December 2020

Dimensions: W 7.5 x L 11 x D .75 in



Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a profound and moving celebration of the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth. The film takes place on a balmy afternoon in 1920s Chicago, where tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman), and the white management determined to control the legendary “Mother of the Blues.”

Featuring film stills, set photography, quotes from the cast and filmmakers, a Foreword by Wolfe, and an incisive text by award-winning author Samuel G. Freedman, this monograph takes readers behind the scenes and examines the making of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as a celebration of August Wilson’s life and work. Through interviews with Wolfe, Washington, Davis, and the rest of the film’s cast and creative team, Freedman situates the making of this great film as the story of how a legacy is carried forward.