Lorraine Hansberry Lorraine Hansberry was an American playwright, whose A Raisin in the Sun (1959) was the first drama written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. It won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award as the best play of the year. Hansberry portrayed individuals--not only black--who defend their own and other's dignity.
Lorraine Hansberry Lorraine Hansberry was born in Chicago as the daughter of a prominent real-estate broker. Hansberry's parents were intellectuals and activists. Her father won an anti-segregation case before the Illinois Supreme Court, upon which the events in A Raisin in the Sun were loosely based.
Lorraine Hansberry When Lorraine was eight, her parents bought a house in a white neighborhood, where they were welcomed one night by a racist mob. Their experience of discrimination there led to a civil rights case.
Lorraine Hansberry Hansberry's parents sent her to public schools rather than private ones as a protest against the segregation laws. Later in life, she moved to New York and took classes in writing at the New School for Social Research and worked as an associate editor of Paul Robeson's Freedom.
Lorraine Hansberry Hansberry’s most significant work, A Raisin in the Sun, takes its name from a line in a poem by author Langston Hughes.
Lorraine Hansberry Dream DeferredWhat happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
Lorraine Hansberry The play was a huge success, although large investors were not interested in it. The production was first taken out of New York and played to packed theaters in New Haven, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Eventually it opened at Ethel Barrymore Theatre, on March 11, 1959. In New York, it ran 530 performances.
Lorraine Hansberry "Ms. Hansberry's commitment of spirit, her creative ability and her profound grasp of the deep social issues confronting the world today will remain an inspiration to generations yet unborn."-Martin Luther King, Jr., 1965