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Presentation by: Mrs. Woit

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1 Presentation by: Mrs. Woit
Lorraine Hansberry Presentation by: Mrs. Woit

2 Early Life Born in Chicago May 1930
Her parents were well educated and successful She lived in Chicago’s Southside in a black neighborhood

3 During this era… Segregation was still legal and widely spread through the south Northern states had no official policy, but most were generally segregated Chicago was strictly divided among black and white neighborhoods Hansberry’s family was one of the first to move into a white neighborhood

4 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 black and white audiences Won several awards

5 The 1950’s An age of complacency and conformism
Symbolized the growth of suburbs and commercial culture The ideas of “the happy housewife and blacks content with their inferior status” This resulted in an upswell of public resentment which led to the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960’s

6 Can anyone define the American Dream????

7 In her play Hansberry explored…
Poverty Discrimination African American racial identity the oppressive white community of 1950 Feminism Abortion DREAMS (VERY IMPORTANT)

8 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 And in negative creating more dissatisfaction Most of this is due to emphasis on materialistic goals rather than on pride and happiness

9 A note on the title “Raisin in the Sun”
Taken from a 1951 poem by Langston Hughes “Harlem” Written after the Great Depression CRUSHED the Harlem Renaissance and devastated black communities The poem captures the tension between the need for black expression and America’s oppression of its black community

10 “Harlem” 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?

11 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

12 Her end… Sadly, Hansberry died at the young age of 34 of a courageous battle with cancer. Yet, her fight for equality lives on through the power of her words in “A Raisin in the Sun”

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