To Be Young, Gifted and Black: A Portrait of Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words
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The last date listed for To Be Young, Gifted and Black: A Portrait of Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words was Sunday May 27, 2012 / 7:00pm.
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Lorraine Hansberry was born in 1930 in the Woodlawn neighborhood of the South Side of Chicago. Her family later moved into a white neighborhood, where they faced racial discrimination. Lorraine attended a predominantly white public school while her parents fought against segregation. The legal struggle over their move led to the landmark Supreme Court case of Hansberry v. Lee (1940). Though victors in the Supreme Court, the family was subjected to what Lorraine would later describe as a “hellishly hostile white neighborhood.” This experience later inspired her to write her most famous work, A Raisin in the Sun.
Hansberry attended the University of Wisconsin, but found college to be uninspiring and left in 1950 to pursue her career as a writer in New York. She worked on the staff of a Black newspaper called Freedom. It was at that time she wrote A Raisin in the Sun. It was the first play written by a Black woman to be produced on Broadway. It received the N.Y. Drama Critics Award, making Hansberry the first Black writer to receive the Award.
Lorraine Hansberry died on January 12, 1965, of pancreatic cancer at the age of 34. Her second play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window opened on Broadway in 1964 and closed the night she died.