A Raisin in the Sun: First Play Composed by a Black Woman to Be Produced on Broadway

A Raisin in the Sun was written by Lorraine Hansberry in 1959. The setting is Chicago shortly after the excellent depression. It is the very first play composed by a Black woman to be produced on Broadway.

Likewise it is the very first have fun with a Black director, Lloyd Richards. It is a historic first.

The experiences in the play are loosely based on Hansberry’s dad’s experience including a lawsuit, Hansberry v Lee. The household defended their rights in a previous class action suit about racially inspired restrictive real estate covenants.

During the time of the play’s setting, Blacks were prohibited from owning houses in specific neighborhoods by the covenant. White property owners made a covenant to only offer to other Whites. This Black household handled to find a White homeowner to sell to them because the time setting of the play is soon after the anxiety. Purchasers were scarce and the Younger family had the money.

The matriarch in the play represents strength in the family. Her son, Walter Lee, is suffering the same fate as many Black males of his time: underemployment. He has not been given chance to advance like a White male could:

A guy states to a woman ‘I got me a dream’ and the female states ‘eat your eggs.’ I’m thirty-four years of ages, married eleven years and have a boy who oversleeps the living room
— Walter Lee Younger

Walter’s words express the frustration he feels about being not able to offer effectively for his family. It is a disappointment felt by numerous Black males in this country over the years as they were not offered a sporting chance at employment. Many Black men throughout that period and still today are self employed and make money independently since of racial discrimination in employing and promotion.

There is cultural significance in the reality that as a Black man, Walter Lee sees the insurance coverage money as his only intend to end up being a success. When he loses the money, he nearly loses his self regard by offering his soul to the racist community enhancement association agent.

The reality that many years after slavery, Walter Lee is restricted to a task as a chauffeur is a comment on race relations of the time as is the presence of the racist neighborhood companies. It provides the audience a feel for the racial sentiments in Chicago at the time and the photo is not pretty.

His mother knows that even if he gets the offer he is searching for; White society has a lot more challenges in store for him. She supports him because she is hoping he will achieve success although she knows it is not likely.

The other culturally significant reality about this work is the truth that it discusses black feminism. The ladies defer to Walter due to the fact that they feel his spirit needs hope.

The sibling female character in the play has hopes of becoming a medical professional. Walter’s spouse wants a much better home. Each family member has a vision of what the life insurance can give their life.

The play was recreated lot of times after its preliminary debut in the theatre. It is a commentary on Black life that has actually shown to be classic in American History. The title is adjusted from Langston Hughes Harlem. “What takes place to a dream delayed? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” Langston Hughes, Harlem


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