Raisin in the Sun Race Relations

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As I read and studied the play A Raisin in the Sun, it really engaged me and exposed so many issues that were relevant in black Chicago of the late 1950’s. The play written by Lorraine Hansberry, is about the Youngers, a black family living in poverty in the slums of Chicago. There is segregation at this time. They are faced with a big decision on how to spend the $10,000 of insurance money that was left to Lena the matriarch of the family by her late husband. After an encounter with the meddling neighbor Mrs. Johnson, Beneatha who is Lena’s daughter says “Mama, if there are two things we as a people have got to overcome, one is the Ku Klux Klan and the other is Mrs. Johnson( Hansberry 106).” I feel this quote really exemplifies the theme of race relations in this play. It refers to the blatant racism experienced by black America, and the attitudes many black people had towards their own race who desired to change things.

Although there were several themes present throughout the play, I feel that without this most important theme of race relations, the play would never have been written. To gain a proper understanding of how race relations is the primary theme, I will discuss the interracial and intra racial relationships that were typical of the prejudice faced by African Americans of that era. In addition, I will examine the more unusual idea of indigenous African American pride. Mama decided she would buy a new house with the insurance money left to her. Because of race segregation at the time, if a family like the Youngers desired to stay among their race, the choices of housing would more expensive. When Mama announced she had purchased a home in Clyborne Park, there was audible silence and looks of disbelief. Clyborne Park was an all-white neighborhood, but it was the only decent home in the right price range. The comment made by Lena’s daughter in law Ruth, “course I ain’t one never been afraid of no crackers mind you-...
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