Racism in Lorraine Hansberry’s Plays

4 April 2015
Examines realistic, optimistic, non-revolutionary depiction of racial conflict in A Raisin in the Sun & two more dramas.

This study will examine racial conflict as it is portrayed by Lorraine Hansberry in three plays, A Raisin in the Sun, What Use Are Flowers? and The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window. As an intelligent black woman and artist born in 1930 and dying in 1965, Hansberry is clearly aware of the significance of racism in the United States, and she includes racial bigotry and stereotyping as important elements of each of these three plays, either directly or indirectly.

However, Hansberry is an optimist, not a revolutionary. Her work leans toward the reassuring rather than the disturbing. Her characters, for the most part, live in a world which still contains the salvation and healing that love and personal development can bring, even in the face of racial and other obstacles.

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