Presentation on theme: "Lorraine Hansberry Author of A Raisin in the Sun May 19, 1930-January 12, 1965."— Presentation transcript:
Lorraine Hansberry Author of A Raisin in the Sun May 19, 1930-January 12, 1965
Early Life Born in Chicago in May of 1930. Her parents were well educated and successful. She lived in Chicago’s Southside in an African American neighborhood.
During this era… Segregation was still legal and widespread throughout the South. Northern states had no official policy, but most were generally segregated. Chicago was strictly divided among African American and white neighborhoods. Hansberry’s family was one of the first to move into a white neighborhood.
On a Raisin in the Sun Recognizably autobiographical Realistic portrait of African American life Opened as a play in 1959 It was met with great praise from African American and white audiences. Won several awards
The 1950s An age of complacency and conformism Symbolized the growth of suburbs and commercial culture The ideas of the happy housewife and African Americans content with the inferior status placed on them by society This resulted in public resentment which led to the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s.
In her play Hansberry explored… Poverty Discrimination African American racial identity Oppressive white community of 1950s America Feminism Abortion DREAMS (VERY IMPORTANT)
Dreams Dreams are CRUCIAL. They motivate and drive the main characters. They function in positive ways by lifting their minds from tough work and life. They also function in negative ways by creating more dissatisfaction. Most of this is due to emphasis on materialistic goals rather than on pride and happiness.
A Note on the Title of the Play Taken from a line in the 1951 Langston Hughes’ poem, “Harlem” This poem was written after the Great Depression crushed the Harlem Renaissance and devastated African American communities. The poem captures the tension between the need for African American expression in the oppressive environment of white America.
“Harlem” Langston Hughes What 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?
Thoughts…. Hughes asked whether a “dream deferred” withers up like a raisin in the sun? These thoughts as well as Hansberry’s confront the racist and dehumanizing attitude prevalent in the American society.
Hansberry’s Legacy Sadly, Hansberry died at the young age of 34 after a courageous battle with cancer, yet her fight for equality lives on through the power of her words in A Raisin in the Sun.