Lorraine her family. She attended Betsy Ross Elementary

Lorraine Hansberry was born on May 19th in 1930. She was born in Chicago, Illinois. She was an African American playwright and writer. She was the first black when to write a play that was performed on Broadway. She was the youngest of four children born into her family. She attended Betsy Ross Elementary school and she graduated in 1944, from there she went to Englewood High school and graduated from there in 1948. For college, she broke her family’s ongoing tradition of enrolling in Southern black college but she went to the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Her major was at first painting but she changed it to writing. She became politically active at the school and integrated a dormitory. After two years at college, she dropped out and moved to New York City. In the year 1948, she worked on Henry A. Wallace’s presidential campaign, her mother didn’t approve of it. In the summer of 1949, she was in Mexico studying painting at the University of Guadalajara. In 1950, she moved to New York,to pursue her career as a writer, leaving Madison behind her. She moved to Harlem in 1951, she became involved in activist struggles such as the fight against evictions. She joined the newspaper called Freedom, it was edited by Louis E. Burnham and published by Paul Robeson. At the newspaper, she worked with W.E.B. Du Bois and other Black Pan- Africanists. She married Robert Nemiroff on June 20, 1953, who was a Jewish publisher, songwriter, and political activist. They moved to Greenwich Village. On the night before their wedding, they protested the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in NYC. It was believed that Lorraine was a closeted lesbian, this theory was supported by secret writings in letters and personal notebooks. She was an activist for the gay rights movement and wrote about feminism and homophobia. In 1957, she joined the Daughters of Bilitis and contributing two letters to their magazine called The Ladder. Her and her husband separated in 1962 but still worked together. At this time, A Raisin in the Sun was written and finally completed in 1957. At first the play was named The Crystal Stair, but it was later renamed to A Raisin in the Sun. It was opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on March 11, 1959. It was very successful and it ran 530 performances. She was the first black playwright and also the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award. She was 29 when she won this award. In 1964, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She died on January 12, 1965 at the age of 34.Her legacy still lives on, A Raisin in the Sun is considered one of the hallmarks of the American stage and it has continued find new audiences throughout the decades. It was one of the Emmy nominated television productions from both 1989 and 2008. It won the Tony Awards in 2004 and in 2014 it was the best revival of a play. 


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