by August Wilson
Fences Race Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line)
Troy: "'You think only white fellows got sense enough to drive a truck. That ain't no paper job!'" (1.1.13)
Here, Troy is continuing to recount his fight with his boss, Mr. Rand. Troy is fighting for the higher position for himself and all other black workers in the sanitation department. It's interesting that, though Troy feels that blacks are good enough to be drivers, he assumes that they wouldn't be able to handle "paper" or office jobs. You could see this as an example of how racism is so entrenched that black people are a little racist against themselves. Perhaps Troy has bought into the stereotypes that society has forced upon him.
On the other hand, it may just be a practical observation. Many blacks weren't well educated during the time of the play. Troy himself can't read or write and wouldn't be able to do an office job. This, of course, is due to the poverty and racial inequality of America at the time, and is no way related to lack of potential. Either way you look at this comment by Troy, it's evidence of America's legacy of racial inequality.
Bono: "I thought only white folks had inside toilets and things." (1.1.56)
Bono tells us that he and his wife Lucille lived for six years in a crappy two-room apartment with only an outhouse in the back. He says he's not even sure why they stayed there so long. This quote seems to imply that he just assumed he couldn't do any better. Perhaps society had put him in a position where he felt he was doing as well as a black man could do.
Troy: "I'm talking about if you could play ball then they ought to have let you play. Don't care what color you were." (1.1.81)
Troy points out the blatant racism that kept him from a career in the major leagues. He was just as good, if not better, than many of the white players, and yet he didn't get a shot because of his color. Wilson seems to use the example of discrimination in the world baseball to represent the discrimination going on in America as a whole.