Women's History Month: Lorraine Hansberry

Black women have always played an important role in the history of the United States, often in the face of adversity. While their stories are often left out of the history books, there are a number of black women authors who have made significant contributions to American literature. will highlight ten black women authors who have made a lasting impact on American culture. Today we honor Lorraine Hansberry and highlight To Be Young, Gifted, and Black.

Lorraine Vivian Hansberry (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965) was a playwright and writer. She was the first African-American female author to have a play performed on Broadway. Her best-known work, the play A Raisin in the Sun, highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago. The title of the play was taken from the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes: "What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?" At the age of 29, she won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award ~ Wikipedia

“Anyone who has ever wondered what it really means to be Black will find the answer in this book.”—MINNEAPOLIS TRIBUNE

To Be Young, Gifted and Black is a special kind of autobiography, in a very special voice. Both the story and the voice belong to a young woman from Chicago who moved to New York, won fame with her first play, A Raisin in the Sun—and went on to new heights of artistry before her tragically early death.

In turns angry, loving, bitter, laughing, and defiantly proud, the story, voice, and message are all Lorraine Hansberry’s own, coming together in one of the major works of the Black experience in mid-twentieth-century America.

“A milestone.”—TIME

“Wonderfully moving and entertaining.”—Clive Barnes, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“I advise anybody who is interested in the human condition, black or white, to read it.”—NEWSDAY