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4/15/2009

Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965)

Writer of critically acclaimed and award-winning play A Raisin in the Sun (1959)

First play by an African American woman to be presented on Broadway

Cultural Diversity

Groups have been marginalized based on:

  • Race

  • Class

  • Gender

  • Sexuality

  • Ability

African American Theatre

  • Of all marginalized groups, theatres and plays concerned with

African Americans have made the greatest impact

African American Theatre

  • Themes explored by A Raisin in the Sun would be significant in

future African American drama:

  • 1.

    Integration versus separation of races

  • 2.

    Inequities and injustices inflicted on African Americans

  • 3.

    Aspirations for the good life and obstacles to achieving one’s potential

  • 4.

    Maintaining dignity in the face of overwhelming circumstances

African American Theatre

  • Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

    • Set out to develop a black esthetic

    • Founded Spirit House in Newark in 1966

    • Promoted separatist black society

    • Credo = theatre “by us, about us, for us”

    • Best known plays =

      • The Dutchman

      • Slave Ship

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