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Community Advocacy Organization

A Look In The Mirror - Lorraine Hansberry (1930 - 1965) Playwright


Lorraine was born in 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother was a teacher, while her father was a real estate broker. Their family was one of few African-American families in an all white neighborhood when she was young. She studied at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she became involved with the civil rights movement. Following two years, she transferred to New York City and pursued a career as a writer.


Her play, "A Raisin In The Sun," premiered on Broadway in 1959 and quickly became a hit. It was the first play by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. Set in Chicago, the story focuses on various themes such as racial discrimination and poverty.

The inspiration for the play came from Hansberry's experiences growing up in segregated Chicago. It was praised for its honest depiction of African-American life.


Throughout her career, Hansberry has tackled various social and racial issues. She was active in the civil rights movement and worked with prominent individuals such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Hansberry also supported LGBTQ rights and women's rights.

Hansberry died at the age of 34 due to cancer. Despite her death, her legacy continues to influence other writers and activists. Her work has helped pave the way for many aspiring African-American playwrights. Her dedication to equality and social justice will continue to motivate people for a long time to come.

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