In January 1959, the nationwide conversation about race focused on the subject of ar integration, particularly that of black households moving into white neighborhoods. The discussion, which had been prompted by a collection of previously court war (Hansberry v. Lee, 1940; Brown v. Board of education and learning of Topeka, Kansas, 1954; et. Al.) was given brand-new energy by playwright Lorraine Hansberry and her pat A Raisin in the Sun.

The play pertains to an African-American family, the Younger family, whose matriarch Lena is set to inherit $10,000 in life insurance allowance from her late husband’s policy. The family of five—Lena’s daughter Beneatha, her child Walter Lee and his wife Ruby and son Travis—lives on Chicago’s southern Side in a small apartment, through a common bathroom down the hall. The prospect of the brewing inheritance engenders a furious storm of hopes, dreams, and also impatient accusations. The family eventually uses the money come buy a residence in a white community of the city, which Hansberry fictionally name “Clybourne Park.” knife Lindner, the just white character within Hansberry’s play and also a representative that the Clybourne Park improvement Association, supplies to to buy the Youngers’ recently gained home back from them. His initiatives are urged by a desire because that a an extremely specific kind of population control—to prevent new black next-door neighbors from relocating to the white community. Back the offer is at first rebuffed by Walter Lee, an unfortunate invest that results in Walter gift swindled of fifty percent of his father’s insurance money money, prompts Hansberry’s protagonist to consider accepting Lindner’s money and, in so doing, to tacitly accept the Clybourne Park innovation Association’s racialism views. “I’ll look that son-of-a-bitch best in his eye and also say—‘All right, Mr. Charlie. Every right, Mr. Lindner—that’s your ar out there! You got a right to store it prefer you want! You obtained a right to have actually it like you want! simply write the check and also the house is yours.’ And—and ns am going to say—‘And you—you world just placed the money in mine hand and also you won’t need to live next to this bunch the stinking niggers!" - A Raisin in the sunlight by Lorraine Hansberry (New York: Vintage, 1986), p. 144.With these words, Walter locations a spotlight ~ above the intersection that race and community. He gestures come the reasonable that sustained six decades of Jim crow legislation, that allowed “separate but equal” come exist, that justified the abuse of black color bodies as soon as they inadvertently overcome the invisible line the separated “their” and “our” part of town, beach, bus, diner, store. That reveals the predisposition that lies in ~ the heart of initiatives to prevent African-Americans native ever ending up being neighbors come white homeowners. Ultimately, the Youngers deal with to do the move and A Raisin in the sun ends together the family members moves the end of your too-small apartment right into a residence with a yard in an unwelcoming, perhaps hostile community. A Raisin in the Sun, the first black drama developed on Broadway, to be an immediate crucial and commercial success. Theater critics praised the 1959 production, quote its broad appeal, and frequently compared it to canonical theatrical works. As Brooks Atkinson it was observed in his brand-new York times review, “You might, in fact, for A Raisin in the sunlight as a negro The Cherry Orchard.” Brooks Atkinson, “A Raisin in the Sun,” (New York Times, march 12, 1959.)Audiences, of every colors, flocked to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre ~ above Broadway and also demonstrated through their presence and also dollars that civilization were interested in seeing and also hearing African-American experiences depicted on the stage. The play established Lorraine Hansberry together a significant playwright and a leading voice the the American theater in the 1960s, intensified the already lustrous reputation of movie actor Sidney Poitier and also launched the careers of a series of individuals who would proactively reshape the look and also sound of American theatre over the following generation, consisting of director Lloyd Richards and also actors Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, valley Turman and also Douglas Turner Ward. End the years, A Raisin in the Sun maintained its popularity and also with every remount, revival and adaptation catalytic analysis a discussion of race in the United says by drawing attention to the tensions and also anxieties associated to neighborhood integration. In 1961, the original cast reunited to appear in a film variation of the play. Twelve year later, A Raisin in the sun was adjusted into a musical, Raisin, which ran for 2 years ~ above Broadway and also received the Tony compensation for finest musical. Due to the fact that then, Hansberry’s play has seen numerous productions, the many recent gift the Tony Award-nominated 2004 Broadway resurgence with Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad and also Audra Mcdonald as headliners.

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