Joe Turner's Come and Gone is the second play in Wilson's Century Cycle. The play talks on racism and discrimination around a few freed African American Slaves in the 1910s. It is set is Seth holly's boarding house in Pittsburgh, PA. The working title of the play was Mill Hand's Lunch Bucket, which is the title of a painting by Romare Bearden.
The play was first staged in 1984 at the Eugene O'Neil Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut and opened on Broadway in 1988 and ran for 105 performances. It's cast included Delroy Lindo and Angela Bassett. The play was nominated in 1988 for the Tony Award for Best Play.