In Denzel Washington’s Fences, there is an unusual supporting character. The film features a baseball hanging by a thin rope in the back garden of the house shared by Washington’s Troy, his wife Rose (played by Viola Davis) and their son Cory (Jovan Adepo). Though inanimate, this ball serves as a witness to all the tribulations of this black family in post-war US. Hit every which way by Troy and his son Cory, this baseball is also a metaphor for how we shape our lives and how far we can go in determining our own destiny.