A Raisin in the Sun

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A Raisin in the Sun

By | July 2013
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Throughout the 1950s, segregation was prominent in America. In the play, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, each character faces racial discrimination. Many of the characters have hopes and aspirations; they all strive towards their goals throughout the play. However, many of the characters in the play have to face numerous difficulties. Segregation and the treatment of African Americans in the 1950s will undoubtedly affect the dreams of Walter Lee and Beneatha. Blatant racism and segregation began to diminish and many young African American males in the 1950s were given opportunity. Even though work was scarce, some young African American males were able find work. The jobs available were low paying service jobs, such as a chauffeur or a shoe shiner, It was hard for a young black man to support himself, yet alone his family with the wages he received. Agricultural work diminished due to the use of new machines. The mechanical cotton picker pushed a wave of African Americans out of the South and into the North. Between 1940 and 1960, Chicago’s black population grew from 278,000 to 813,000. While in Chicago, some African American men found industrial jobs, but the shift to postindustrial labor hit them particularly hard. World War II brought even more change. As African Americans enlisted in the military, they also moved up the blue collar ladder to careers such firefighting. After World War II a new movement for civil rights began. African Americans started to have more confidence and believe more in themselves. They had served for their country with honor during the war and in the North many Blacks started living in better conditions. A new group came to life, the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People). It attracted many members and received support from both Blacks and Whites. The Civil Rights act gave African Americans an opportunity in life. In A Raisin in the Sun, Walter Lee is an African American male who has big...