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A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry
  • Study Guide
Further Study

Companion Texts

Further Study Companion Texts

A Raisin in the Sun: An Introduction”

This 20-minute video was produced by the Westport Country Playhouse in support of a 2012 revival of the play directed by Phylicia Rashad, who starred as Lena Younger in the 2008 film adaptation alongside Sean Combs (Walter) and Audra McDonald (Ruth). The video includes biographical material on Hansberry, a history of the play, and interviews with Rashad as well as a number of scholars.

“The Black Revolution and the White Backlash”

Published by American RadioWorks in a series on great African American speeches, this short article discusses a 1964 town hall forum sponsored by the Association of Artists for Freedom. Hansberry gave a short speech during the forum, and the complete text of that speech, along with an audio recording, appear at the end of the article.

“How Lorraine Hansberry Turned Her Family’s Story into A Raisin in the Sun

Robert Loerzel’s short article, written for the theater journal Playbill, draws from Imani Perry’s recent book on Hansberry to discuss the resonances between Hansberry’s play and her biography.

“The Groundbreaking Broadway Casting of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun

This short video, published by the PBS program American Masters in support of a recent documentary on Hansberry, describes what went into casting the original Broadway production of the play and why the cast was so groundbreaking.

“The Double Life of Lorraine Hansberry”  

Following a short introduction by Sarah Fonseca, this webpage reproduces an article written by Elise Harris that originally appeared in Out Magazine in 1999. Harris’s article discusses the tensions between Hansberry’s public life as a notable and successful Black playwright, and her private life as a lesbian struggling with her marriage.

“Black Theatre”  

This short article from Britannica provides a highly condensed history of Black theater, starting with the minstrel shows of the early nineteenth century, and concluding with references to key figures from the 1980s and 1990s. Although far from exhaustive, the article includes many links that allow one to explore important dramatists and periods of African American theater.

“How These Black Playwrights Are Challenging American Theater”  

In their review article for The New York Times from April 2019, Michael Poulson and Nicole Herrington interview several contemporary Black playwrights whose work responds to the ongoing trauma and oppression of Black people in the United States.