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Wedding, The

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Written by Charles Johnson, this is a story seen through the eyes of a teenaged boy growing up in an African American community in South Chicago in 1959. A narrator introduces us to the key characters and events, foremost of which is Bubba. Bubba is a 17-year-old boy who is first seen hanging out with his friends at a local hamburger joint. Bubba lives with his grandmother Beatrice, his mother Evelyn, and his uncle, the Rev. Jubilee Tuthill. Bubba's closest friend, Powell, has the reputation of a scoundrel, but is welcomed into the fold by Evelyn. Powell's girlfriend is Shookie. When Powell reveals that his girlfriend Shookie is pregnant, Bubba asks the Reverend Tuthill to marry them. Jubilee, who objects to the "sin" committed by Shookie and Powell, refuses. They turn to Rev. Brown, Tuthill's assistant, who agrees to help. Amid preparations for the wedding, a confrontation takes place between Brown and Tuthill. The latter won't allow the young couple to be married in the church. Behind Tuthill's back Bubba's mother and grandmother make plans to get Tuthill out of the house and have the wedding there. Bolstered by pep talks from Bubba and his mother, Powell and Shookie are on the threshold of being pronounced man and wife when the Rev. Tuthill comes home, walking in on the ceremony. Rev. Brown hastily pronounces the two man and wife, and Rev. Tuthill retreats to the kitchen to sulk, but when Shookie brings a piece of wedding cake to him, he softens up and joins in the festivities.

"The Wedding""was created as a pilot for a series entitled "Bubba," which was to have featured an African American cast and followed the adventures of its namesake. Writer Charles Johnson went on to win the National Book Award for "Middle Passage" in 1990 and is the recipient of a 1998 MacArthur Foundation Award. Produced and directed by Fred Barzyk.

The New Television Workshop created several shows that were broadcast on WGBH without being a part of a series sponsored specifically by the Workshop. The Workshop was also commissioned to create programs for national broadcast. Several shows were made in collaboration with existing series at other stations, including "American Playhouse" at WNET (New York).
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