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[[image: Black and White Photo of Lorraine Hansberry]]

Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) is the author of the plays A Raisin in the Sun; The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, produced on Broadway shortly before her death in 1964; and Les Blancs, which premiered posthumously on Broadway in 1970.  When A Raisin in the sun premiered in 1959, it was the first play by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway.  Later that season, Miss Hansberry also became the youngest American playwright, the fifth woman, and the first African-American to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award when A Raisin in the Sun was named Best Play.  In 1961, the film version won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival, and Hansberry was nominated to a Writers Guild Award for her screenplay.  To Be Young, Gifted and Black, an autobiographical portrait in her own words, adapted by her former husband and literary executor Robert Nemiroff, was the longest running Off-Broadway play of 1969.  The author of many articles and essays on literary criticism, racism, sexism, homophobia, world peace, and other social and political issues, her published writings also include The Drinking Gourd, What Use Are Flowers?, and The Movement, a long essay written as text for a photojournalistic treatment of the Civil Rights Movement.

The recording heard before the performance is a radio conversation between Lorraine Hansberry and Studs Terkel at broadcast on Terkel's program "Almanac."  The program, recorded in 1959, appears here courtesy of the Studs Terkel Radio Archive.

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