august wilsons uncompromising vision for ma raineys black bottom it has taken decades for his century cycle plays to reach the screenbut not for lack of interest. Ma raineys black bottom is part of august wilsons century cycle of plays, each depicting a decade of african american life during the 20th century. In ma raineys, wilson visits 1920s chicago, as the great migration north has just started, and african americans have began to assert themselves to gain rights denied to them in the south. August wilsons ma raineys black bottom premiered in 1984, as part of wilsons century cycle, also known as the pittsburgh cycle. The century cycle is a series of ten plays, each exploring the black experience in the united states during a different decade of the 20th century.