A Raisin in the Sun /Lorraine Hansberry
——“Historical achievement” by James Baldwin
Historical and cultural contexts:
1. Lorraine Hansberry, the youngest American playwright at her 29-year-old, and she is the first black writer and the fifth woman who won the price. 2. This play brought African American into the theater and onto the stage 3. The play reflected a historical and cultural reality previously ignored by dramatists, and the things happened in the play were like many ordinary African American people’s life. 4. The younger family seem so realistic because their situation closely resembled other African Americans --- Great Migration: African American moved from rural south (bad place, no freedom and good living) to urban north (dream place, with hope and can have better jobs, higher wages, greater safety and freedom, also without Jim Crow thing) 5. In Chicago, where the play took place, black people lived in south side of the city (black belts). There have shopping districts, big park and beach, Regal Theater and famous people, but for most colored people, they get lower wages than white people, barred entirely from many jobs, often be fired first and hired last. More black people did unskilled jobs and service sector jobs. They also cannot have equal treatment on housing. Black people always pay higher rents and spend more money on buying their own house. More black lived in substandard houses and white people don’t want to have colored neighbors. 6. Hansberry’s personal experience (her father wanted to buy a house in white people area, but faced racial discrimination) → African American civil rights struggle → Martin Luther King Jr., the most famous and influential civil rights leaders (I have a dream) Father generations always believe “American way”; while younger people may question “American way” and they are more aggressive to response to the unfair treatment. “WWⅡ became a turning point in the Negro’s relation to the country” by Baldwin 7....
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