Her Story: Lorraine Vivian Hansberry

Her Story: Lorraine Vivian Hansberry

Playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) was the first African-American to write a play performed on Broadway and was the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award for best play.

Opening on March 11, 1959, “Raisin in the Sun” made its debut bringing a realistic portrayal of urban, working-class African American life to stage. The production ran for a total of 530 performances before closing in 1960 and was nominated for four Tony Awards. “Raisin in the Sun” has been turned into a film, a musical, a TV film, a BBC radio play and has been honored with two Broadway revivals (2004, 2014) both wining numerous Tony Awards.

Hansberry completed only two plays before passing away at age 34. In her short life she wrote many unfinished works that have been published posthumously and have greatly extended her contribution to literature and the Civil Rights Movement.

Read More About This Project: Her Story: Honoring Women, Empowering Girls

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