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Big White Fog

Big White Fog

By Theodore Ward
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781854595959, 112 pages, May 2007


A poignant family drama set in Chicago against a backdrop of the Great Depression and the inescapable racism of the times.

Chicago's South Side in the 1920s. Struggling to keep his dreams alive and his family together, Victor Mason is an educated black man reduced to working on building sites. His loyalty to Marcus Garvey's Back to Africa movement clashes with his family's pursuit of the American Dream despite the twin evils of the Depression and of ubiquitous racism.

Never seen outside America until 2007, Theodore Ward's landmark family drama, Big White Fog, remains as poignant today as it was when it burst upon the Chicago stage in 1937 - and on to New York, where it was produced by the Negro Playwrights' Company, of which Ward was a co-founder with, among others, Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes.

This volume also contains extensive introductory material by writers, thinkers and activists such as Marcus Garvey, Richard Wright and James Baldwin.


"I doubt if there exists any more enthralling or important play about the struggle of blacks to survive in pre-Second World War America than Big White Fog. It is that rare dramatic thing: a drama which extends one's awareness of life, resounding with justified anger and passion."

- Evening Standard

"An intimate family tragedy and a charged play of ideas... a still-reverberating portrait of racial anger."

- Independent on Sunday