Photo of playwright Lorraine Hansberry, circa 1960, sitting at a typewriter.

A Raisin in the Sun

Author: Hansberry, Lorraine

Originally Published: 1959

Genre: Play

Coordinating Scholar: Douglas S. Kern

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) was the first play by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. The play portrays an African American family’s struggle to escape poverty and partake of the American dream in post-World War II Chicago. It premiered on 11 March 1959 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre and became a great critical and popular success, winning Hansberry acclaim as one of theater’s most promising young writers. She received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for the play, becoming the youngest American and the first African American to win the award, for which works by Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, and Archibald MacLeish were also in consideration. Hansberry...

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