Essay on African American Living in the Past: A Raisin in the Sun

It is already a very well known fact that African Americans went through a lot of torment through the 1920s until the later 1960s. Even as time went by, only a small amount of things changed. Racism may have died down a bit, but remains in existence. The play A Raisin in the Sun by African American female, Lorraine Hansberry, depicts the real life of African Americans between the 1920s and the 1960s. This time period for an African American was rather tough. The living situations for African Americans were made even more difficult than they would have already been due to their skin color and the government’s decisions (ex. Jim Crow laws).

The play A Raisin in the Sun was written by an African American female by the name of Lorraine Hansberry. It was seen to be the most historically accurate because of its realistic viewpoint of the African American situations of this time. James Baldwin, a friend of Hansberry and a fellow writer, “labeled the play as a “historical achievement” of the greatest importance… the unprecedented way that A Raisin in the Sun brought African Americans into the theater and onto the stage.” (“Chapter 30: Cultural and Historical Context, 1925). Baldwin continued to say “never before, had so much of the truth of black people’s lives been on the stage” and “A Raisin in the Sun was a historical achievement precisely because of it’s realism and contemporaneity, its truthful depiction of the lives of many ordinary African Americans in the late 1950s. In a sense, the play made history by accurately reflecting a historical and cultural reality previously ignored by dramatists” (1925).

Hansberry had an interesting background that connects with the play she has written. In a May 2005 i…

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…” And The Studio System: A Re-Evaluation Of Hansberry’s Original Screenplay Of “A Raisin In The Sun.” Literature Film Quarterly 37.3 (2009): 184-193. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Apr. 2014.

Kelly, Amanda. “The Art of Social Criticism: Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.” University of Michigan. University of Michigan, Winter 2003. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. .

“Lorraine Hansberry: Personal Struggles.” Literary Cavalcade 57.8 (2005): 22-23. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Apr. 2014.

Mootry, Maria K. “Growing Up Black and Female, Black and Male in Chicago in Gwendolyn Brook’s Maud Martha and Ron Fair’s Hog Butcher.” Growing Up Black and Female, Black and Male in Chicago in Gwendolyn Brook’s Maud Martha and Ron Fair’s Hog Butcher. Illinois Periodicals, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. .

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