This year marks the 10th anniversary of the death of August Wilson, the iconic playwright who devoted his life to highlighting the ongoing struggles that were prevalent in the Black community.
In recognition of his life as well as Black History Month, PBS will be airing his life story as part of its “American Masters” series. American Masters—August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand gives viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the playwright’s life as well as theatrical archives and interviews from big names, like Phylicia Rashad and Viola Davis, praising Wilson’s influential reach.
Over the span of his career, Wilson wrote 10 plays, including 2003’s “Gem of the Ocean,” which evolved into a Broadway show starring Rashad. Set in the early 1900s, the play tells the story of a Pittsburgh man who seeks the help of Aunt Ester, a spiritual healer, after committing a petty crime with deadly consequences.
The PBS special will feature Rashad reprising her role as Aunt Ester, if only for a scene. Check out a clip of her dramatic reading above, and be sure to catch American Masters — August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand on Friday, February 20, at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.