In 1959, in just her late 20s, Lorraine Hansberry was finally able to get the play out of her head and onto paper and A Raisin in the Sun was born. It had been rattling around in her head for a while but once it found its time and place, it took off and took America with it. Lorraine had grown up fairly middle-class in Chicago, or as middle-class as a black family was to be, to parents who were in at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. She learned much watching them that did not truly germinate until she was a young woman and able to truly appreciate what they had done and what her generation still needed to do. A Raisin in the Sun allowed her to start finding her outer voice although it seems a shame that so much of its message went askew at the time. It is a shame that she died so young with so much left to give to society.
I admit, before this year I had heard of this play but had never seen it or had any idea even what it was about. I didn't know the name Lorraine Hansberry. My 10th grader is doing theater and needed to do a biographical research paper so we decided to combine the assignments and do it on a playwright and Ms. Hansberry had been coming up a lot in the standards and his theater curriculum so I suggested her because I did not want to deal with yet another Shakespeare thing (don't get me wrong, I enjoy Shakespeare but researching him is so overdone and I wanted to learn about someone new). He agreed and this book was the source of most of his information. It was very informative, simply-written but engaging at the same time. I'm definitely glad to have learned more about her.
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