Lorraine Hansberry Biography

  • Lorraine Hansberry lived from 1930 to 1965 and enjoyed financial prosperity when many many African Americans in the US didn't.
  • Carl Hansberry, Lorraine Hansberry's father, was a powerful role model for Lorraine.
  • At a young age, Lorraine had an intrest in her background and in Africa.
  • A brick was thrown in Hansberry's window and nearly hit her after they moved to a white community. Her father went to court about this and won.
  • During her years in University of Wisconsin, Lorraine was inspired by the play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey, she later developed an interest in drama
  • Dropped out of college in 1950 and moved to New York and worked for Freedom a racial black magazine. During that time, she met the famous African American poet, Langston Huges, whose work had greatly influenced her life.
  • Lorraine Hansberry met her future husband at a picket line protesting.
  • Robert Nemiroff, from a well cultured, well-established, and finacially secured Russian-Jewish family married Lorraine in 1953
  • The play, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry opened in Chicago in 1959 and later went on to New York. The title comes from a poem by Langston Hughes called A Dream Deferred. The original title of A Rasin in the Sun was actually 'The Crystal Stair' after a line in a different poem by Langston Hughes.
  • 1959, Lorraine became the first African American to receive the prestigious New York Drama Critics Circle Award.
  • Her play, A Raisin in the Sun, became the first play to be written by an African-American woman to be aired on Broadway.
  • In 1963, Lorraine became active in the civil rights movement in the South.
  • She completed her second play, The Sign In Sidney Brustein's Window, in 1964.
  • In 1965, Hansberry died from pancreatic cancer when she was only 35 years old.

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