Gem of the Ocean’s Aunt Ester
Gem of the Ocean is a play by August Wilson that premiered in 2003. It reflects on history; a magical journey across time to America’s slave trade era and the African-American struggle in the hands of their oppressors. Wilson was raised by his African-American mother after his German father abandoned them. Aunt Ester plays a major role as a character in this play. She is the god of Africans, the only “Supreme Being” they believed in, and worshipped before Christianity was brought to them. Her age represents the number of years that Africans have been in America. She is the true African spirit, a bridge between the present and the historical struggle of African-American slaves. In this play, she is the perfect representation of older African spirituality. Africans who did not want to turn to Christianity for direction and sustenance would, therefore, have Aunt Ester as an ideal alternative.
The wisdom that is being passed down is the African tradition, the history of the struggle of Africans in America, and the roles that they played in the civilization of America. Their culture had also been neglected, which was rich and based on wisdom before it was eroded by the White domination. The wisdom is said to have come from the forefathers – the ancestors of the Blacks. Brodersen et al (2006) note that “the path to Aunt Ester’s house is all grown over with weeds and leaves. You can hardly find the door anymore. People have…
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