Critical Insights: A Raisin in the Sun

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James Baldwin wrote of Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play, A Raisin in the Sun, “Never before in the entire history of the American theatre had so much of the truth of black people’s lives been seen on the stage.”  Hansberry’s depiction of a working-class African American family living on Chicago’s South Side in the 1950s dramatizes evocatively their urban backwater chronologically poised between the civil rights movement and the black activism of the years to come, as each of the characters struggles with issues of cultural assimilation and resistance.  Essays in this volume approach Raisin as a resonant social document, as a frequently staged play and iconic film, and as an ambitious work of theatrical realism crafted by a dramatist not yet thirty.

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