Do you know who Lorraine Hansberry was?
Tonight we're doing book posts and we pick a book at random and write about it in some way. I've got so many of C.I.'s books in my room. She's got a library in her home, a very large library. And about every 3 months, I go to the Black Studies section and return books and pull down some more. I also check out the arts section which is where I first found this book, "The Collected Last Plays."
Lorraine Hansberry, at twenty-nine, became the youngest American, the fifth women, and the first black playwright to win the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play of the Year. Her "A Raisin in the Sun" has since been published and produced in some thirty countries, while her film adaptation was nominated by the New York critics for the Best Screenplay and received a Cannes Film Festival Award. At thirty-four, during the run of her second play, "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window," Lorraine Hansberry died of cancer. In the years since her death, her stature has continued to grow. "To Be Young, Gifted and Blac," a dramatic portrait of the playwright in her own words, was the longest-running Off-Broadway drama of 1969, and has toured an unprecedented forty states and two hundred colleges.
The book brings together "Les Blancs," "The Drinking Gourd" and "What Use Are Flowers?" which are interesting and indicate that she was growing both more experimental and more sure of her own voice. She already wrote one of the masterpieces of the 20th century with "A Raisin in the Sun" but these three plays indicate she could have gone on to do so much more and became a playwright like Tennessee Williams who ends up with multiple classics to their name.
I think she is our least celebrated playwright while having written one of the 20th century's most reconizable and know plays.
If you're interested in discovering more about her, I'd recommend this book over any biography on her.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
the associated press
ayas hossam acommok