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Lorraine Hansberry

May 9, 1930 – January 12, 1965

Inducted in 2010

Works

A Raisin in the Sun (1959)

A Raisin in the Sun, screenplay (1961)

"On Summer" (essay) (1960)

The Drinking Gourd (1960)

What Use Are Flowers? (c. 1962)

The Arrival of Mr. Todog—parody of Waiting for Godot

The Movement: Documentary of a Struggle for Equality (1964)

The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (1965)

To Be Young, Gifted and Black: Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words (1969)

Les Blancs: The Collected Last Plays / by Lorraine Hansberry. Edited by Robert Nemiroff (1994)

Toussaint (fragment)

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.

When Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun burst onto the scene in 1959, she became the youngest American playwright, the first African-American to be produced on Broadway, and only the fifth woman to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play of the year. She also received a Cannes Film Festival special award in 1961 for the screenplay to her famous play. She died just three years later. Though Hansberry’s other works, notably To Be Young, Gifted and Black, are substantial, it is Raisin that provides her lasting legacy. The play, which draws from Hansberry’s experiences in the only black family in the racially desegregated Washington Park subdivision on Chicago’s South Side, continues to be one of the most produced and discussed plays more than forty years after her death.

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