The Full Wiki

A Raisin in the Sun: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1st edition cover

A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title comes from the poem "Harlem" (also known as "A Dream Deferred") by Langston Hughes. The story is based upon a black family's experiences in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, as well as the first play with a black director (Lloyd Richards) on Broadway. Waiting for the curtain to rise on opening night, Hansberry and producer, Phillip Rose, did not expect the play to be a success, for it had already received mixed reviews from a preview audience the night before.[1]

Contents

Plot

A Raisin in the Sun portrays a few weeks in the life of the Youngers, an African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. When the play opens, the Youngers are about to receive an insurance check for $10,000. This money comes from the deceased Mr. Younger’s life insurance policy. Each of the adult members of the family has an idea as to what he or she would like to do with this money. The matriarch of the family, Mama, wants to buy a house to fulfill a dream she shared with her husband. Mama’s son, Walter Lee, would rather use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends. He believes that the investment will solve the family’s financial problems forever. Walter’s wife, Ruth, agrees with Mama, however, and hopes that she and Walter can provide more space and opportunity for their son, Travis. Finally, Beneatha, Walter’s sister and Mama’s daughter, wants to use the money for her medical school tuition. She also wishes that her family members were not so interested in joining the white world. Beneatha instead tries to find her identity by looking back to the past and to Africa.

As the play progresses, the Youngers clash over their competing dreams. Ruth discovers that she is pregnant but fears that if she has the child, she will put more financial pressure on her family members. When Walter says nothing to Ruth’s admission that she is considering abortion, Mama puts a down payment on a house for the whole family. She believes that a bigger, brighter dwelling will help them all. This house is in Clybourne Park, an entirely white neighborhood. When the Youngers’ future neighbors find out that the Youngers are moving in, they send Mr. Lindner, from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association, to offer the Youngers money in return for staying away. The Youngers refuse the deal, even after Walter loses the rest of the money ($6,500) to his friend Willy Harris, who persuades Walter to invest in the liquor store and then runs off with his cash.

In the meantime, Beneatha rejects her suitor, George Murchison, whom she believes to be shallow and blind to the problems of race. Subsequently, she receives a marriage proposal from her Nigerian boyfriend, Joseph Asagai, who wants Beneatha to get a medical degree and move to Africa with him (Beneatha does not make her choice before the end of the play). The Youngers eventually move out of the apartment, fulfilling the family’s long-held dream. Their future seems uncertain and slightly dangerous, but they are optimistic and determined to live a better life. They believe that they can succeed if they stick together as a family and resolve to defer their dreams no longer.

Original Broadway Cast

Written by Lorraine Hansberry; Directed by Lloyd Richards

Designed by Ralph Alswang; Lighted by Ralph Alswang; Costumes by Matt Levy; Sound Design by Masque Sound Engineering Company

General Manager: Walter Fried

Production Stage Manager: Leonard Auerbach; Stage Manager: Mervyn Williams By W.D. White

Litigation

The experiences in this play echo a lawsuit (Hansberry v. Lee, 311 U.S. 32 (1940)), to which the Hansberry family was a party when they fought to have their day in court because a previous class action about racially motivated restrictive covenants (Burke v. Kleiman, 277 Ill. App. 519 (1934) was similar to the case at hand. They won their right to be heard as a matter of due process of law in relation to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court held that the Hansberry defendants were not bound by the Burke decision because the class of defendants in the respective cases had conflicting goals, and thus could not be considered to be the same class.

Interestingly, the plaintiff in the first action was Olive Ida Burke, who brought the suit on behalf of the property owner's association to enforce the racial restriction in 1934. Her husband, James Burke, was the person who sold the property to Carl Hansberry (Lorraine's father) when he changed his mind about the validity of the covenant. Mr. Burke's decision may have been motivated by the changing demographics of the neighborhood, but it was also influenced by the Depression. The demand for houses was so low among white buyers that Mr. Hansberry may have been the only prospective purchaser available.[2]

Lorraine reflects upon the litigation in her book To Be Young, Gifted, and Black:

"25 years ago, [my father] spent a small personal fortune, his considerable talents, and many years of his life fighting, in association with NAACP attorneys, Chicago’s ‘restrictive covenants’ in one of this nation's ugliest ghettos. That fight also required our family to occupy disputed property in a hellishly hostile ‘white neighborhood’ in which literally howling mobs surrounded our house… My memories of this ‘correct’ way of fighting white supremacy in America include being spat at, cursed and pummeled in the daily trek to and from school. And I also remember my desperate and courageous mother, patrolling our household all night with a loaded German Luger (pistol), doggedly guarding her four children, while my father fought the respectable part of the battle in the Washington court."

The Hansberry house, the red brick three-flat at 6140 S. Rhodes in Washington Park which they bought in 1937, is up for landmark status before the Chicago City Council's Committee on Historical Landmarks Preservation.[3]

Other versions

1961 film

In 1961, a film version of A Raisin in the Sun (film) A Raisin in the Sun was released featuring its original Broadway cast of Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ivan Dixon, Louis Gossett, Jr. and John Fiedler. Hansberry wrote the screenplay, and the film was directed by Daniel Petrie. It was released by Columbia Pictures and Ruby Dee won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. Both Poitier and MacNeil were nominated for Golden Globe Awards, and Petrie received a special "Gary Cooper Award" at the Cannes Film Festival. However, the film received no Academy Award nominations, presumably to avoid racial tensions.

It was not rated by the MPAA, 128 minutes long, and was filmed in black and white.

Musical

In 1973, the play was turned into a musical, Raisin. Hansberry's former husband, Robert Nemiroff, wrote the book of the musical. It won the 1974 Tony Award for Best musical

TV Films

1989 adaptation

In 1989 it was adapted into a made for TV movie starring Danny Glover and Esther Rolle. This production received three Emmy Award nominations, but all were for technical categories. Bill Duke directed the production, while Chiz Schultz produced the production, which also featured Starletta DuPois and John Fiedler, who had starred in the original Broadway production and the 1961 film version. This production was based on an off-Broadway revival produced by the Roundabout Theatre.

The cast, along with their character names, for the 1989 production are as follows: Danny Glover as "Walter Lee," Starletta DuPois as "Ruth," Esther Rolle as "Mama," and Kim Yancey as "Beneatha."

A 12 year-old Kimble Joyner debuts as "Travis."[4][5]

2008 adaptation

Another made for television film, premiered on February 25, 2008 on ABC. The cast is mostly made up of actors from the 2004 revival, including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sanaa Lathan, Sean Patrick Thomas and John Stamos. This version of the play was directed by Kenny Leon.

Cultural references

The 2010 Bruce Norris play Clybourne Park depicts events in the same house that take place before and after the events in Raisin in the Sun.[6]

References

  1. ^ Corley, Cheryl. "A Raisin in the Sun," NPR. March 11, 2002.
  2. ^ Kamp, Allen R. "The History Behind Hansberry v. Lee," 20 U.S. Davis L. Rev. 481 (1987)
  3. ^ 'Raisin in the Sun' home for landmark?, Maudlyne Ihejirika, The Chicago Sun-Times, February 5, 2010
  4. ^ http://www.celebritywonder.com/html/tupacshakur_trivia1.html
  5. ^ http://hollywood.premiere.com/music_artists/celebrity-trivia-Tupac+Shakur
  6. ^ Brantley, Ben, "Good Defenses Make Good Neighbors," New York Times, Feb. 22, 2010.

External links


[[File:|thumb|1st edition cover]]

A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959.[1] The title comes from the poem "Harlem" (also known as "A Dream Deferred") by Langston Hughes, where he asks, does a dream deferred dry up "like a raisin in the sun"? The story is based upon a black family's experiences in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, as well as the first play with a black director (Lloyd Richards) on Broadway. Waiting for the curtain to rise on opening night, Hansberry and producer, Phillip Rose, did not expect the play to be a success, for it had already received mixed reviews from a preview audience the night before.[2]

Contents

Plot

A Raisin in the Sun portrays a few weeks in the life of the Youngers, an African-American family living in the South Side of Chicago in the setting of sometime between WWII and the 1950s. When the play opens, the Youngers are about to receive an insurance check for $10,000 from the deceased Mr. Younger’s life insurance policy. Each of the adult members of the family has an idea as to what he or she would like to do with the money. The matriarch of the family, Mama, wants to buy a house to fulfill a dream she shared with her husband. Mama’s son, Walter Lee, would rather use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends. He believes that the investment will solve the family’s financial problems forever. Walter’s wife, Ruth, agrees with Mama, however, and hopes that she and Walter can provide more space and opportunity for their son, Travis. Finally, Beneatha, Walter’s sister and Mama’s daughter, wants to use the money for her medical school tuition. She also wishes that her family members were not so interested in joining the white world. Beneatha instead tries to find her identity by looking back to the past and to Africa.

As the play progresses, the Youngers clash over their competing dreams. Ruth discovers that she is pregnant but fears that if she has the child, she will put more financial pressure on her family members. When Walter says nothing to Ruth’s admission that she is considering abortion, Mama puts a $3,500 down payment on a house for the whole family. She believes that a bigger, brighter dwelling will help them all. She then gives Walter the remaining $6,500 and tells him to put $3,000 in a savings account for Beneatha's medical schooling and $3,500 in a checking account for himself. Their new house is in Clybourne Park, an entirely white neighborhood. When the Youngers’ future neighbors find out that African-Americans are moving in, they send Mr. Lindner, from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association, to offer the Youngers money in return for staying away. The Youngers refuse the deal, even after Walter loses the rest of the money to his friend Willy Harris, who persuades Walter to invest in the liquor store and then runs off with his cash.

In the meantime, Beneatha rejects her wealthy suitor, George Murchison, whom she believes to be shallow and blind to the problems of race. Subsequently, she receives a marriage proposal from her Nigerian college friend, Joseph Asagai, who wants Beneatha to get a medical degree and move to Africa with him (Beneatha does not make her choice before the end of the play). The Youngers eventually decide to move out of the apartment, fulfilling the family’s long-held dream. Their future seems uncertain and slightly dangerous, but they are optimistic and determined to live a better life. They believe that they can succeed if they stick together as a family and resolve to defer their dreams no longer.

Original Broadway Cast

Written by Lorraine Hansberry; Directed by Lloyd Richards

Designed by Ralph Alswang; Lighted by Ralph Alswang; Costumes by Matt Levy; Sound Design by Masque Sound and Recording Corporation

General Manager: Walter Fried

Production Stage Manager: Leonard Auerbach; Stage Manager: Mervyn Williams By W.D. Whit

Litigation

The experiences in this play echo a lawsuit (Hansberry v. Lee, 311 U.S. 32 (1940)), to which the Hansberry family was a party when they fought to have their day in court because a previous class action about racially motivated restrictive covenants (Burke v. Kleiman, 277 Ill. App. 519 (1934) was similar to the case at hand. They won their right to be heard as a matter of due process of law in relation to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court held that the Hansberry defendants were not bound by the Burke decision because the class of defendants in the respective cases had conflicting goals, and thus could not be considered to be the same class.

Interestingly, the plaintiff in the first action was Olive Ida Burke, who brought the suit on behalf of the property owner's association to enforce the racial restriction in 1934. Her husband, James Burke, was the person who sold the property to Carl Hansberry (Lorraine's father) when he changed his mind about the validity of the covenant. Mr. Burke's decision may have been motivated by the changing demographics of the neighborhood, but it was also influenced by the Depression. The demand for houses was so low among white buyers that Mr. Hansberry may have been the only prospective purchaser available.[3]

Lorraine reflects upon the litigation in her book To Be Young, Gifted, and Black:
"25 years ago, [my father] spent a small personal fortune, his considerable talents, and many years of his life fighting, in association with NAACP attorneys, Chicago’s ‘restrictive covenants’ in one of this nation's ugliest ghettos. That fight also required our family to occupy disputed property in a hellishly hostile ‘white neighborhood’ in which literally howling mobs surrounded our house… My memories of this ‘correct’ way of fighting white supremacy in America include being spat at, cursed and pummeled in the daily trek to and from school. And I also remember my desperate and courageous mother, patrolling our household all night with a loaded German Luger (pistol), doggedly guarding her four children, while my father fought the respectable part of the battle in the Washington court."

The Hansberry house, the red brick three-flat at 6140 S. Rhodes in Washington Park which they bought in 1937, is up for landmark status before the Chicago City Council's Committee on Historical Landmarks Preservation.[4]

Other versions

Broadway revival 2004

There has been one Broadway revival in 2004[5] at the Royale Theatre with the following cast:

  • Sean Combs – Walter Lee Younger
  • Audra McDonald – Ruth Younger
  • Phylicia Rashad – Lena Younger
  • Sanaa Lathan – Beneatha Younger
  • Bill Nunn – Bobo
  • David Aaron Baker – Karl Lindner
  • Lawrence Ballard – Moving Man
  • Teagle F. Bougere – Joseph Asagai
  • Frank Harts – George Murchison
  • Billy Eugene Jones – Moving Man
  • Alexander Mitchell – Travis Younger

1961 film

In 1961, a film version of A Raisin in the Sun was released featuring its original Broadway cast of Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ivan Dixon, Louis Gossett, Jr. and John Fiedler. Hansberry wrote the screenplay, and the film was directed by Daniel Petrie. It was released by Columbia Pictures and Ruby Dee won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. Both Poitier and MacNeil were nominated for Golden Globe Awards, and Petrie received a special "Gary Cooper Award" at the Cannes Film Festival. However, the film received no Academy Award nominations, presumably to avoid racial tensions.

It was not rated by the MPAA, 128 minutes long, and was filmed in Heat Vision.

Musical

In 1973, the play was turned into a musical, Raisin. It was written by Hansberry's former husband, Robert Nemiroff. It won the 1974 Tony Award for Best musical

TV Films

1989 adaptation

In 1989 it was adapted into a made for TV movie starring Danny Glover and Esther Rolle. This production received three Emmy Award nominations, but all were for technical categories. Bill Duke directed the production, while Chiz Schultz produced the production, which also featured Starletta DuPois and John Fiedler, who had starred in the original Broadway production and the 1961 film version. This production was based on an off-Broadway revival produced by the Roundabout Theatre.

The cast, along with their character names, for the 1989 production are as follows: Danny Glover as "Walter Lee," Starletta DuPois as "Ruth," Esther Rolle as "Mama," and Kim Yancey as "Beneatha."

2008 adaptation

Another made for television film, premiered on February 25, 2008 on ABC. The cast is mostly made up of actors from the 2004 revival, including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Sanaa Lathan, Sean Patrick Thomas, and John Stamos .This version of the play was directed by Kenny Leon.

Cultural references

The 2010 Bruce Norris play Clybourne Park depicts events in the same house that take place before and after the events in Raisin in the Sun.[6]

Season 1, Episode 3 of Strangers With Candy is based around a school production of A Raisin in the Sun, and features an excerpt from the 1961 movie as well as Stephen Colbert reciting 'A Dream Deferred' just before the closing credits.

References

  1. ^ http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=2083
  2. ^ Corley, Cheryl. "A Raisin in the Sun," NPR. March 11, 2002.
  3. ^ Kamp, Allen R. "The History Behind Hansberry v. Lee," 20 U.S. Davis L. Rev. 481 (1987)
  4. ^ 'Raisin in the Sun' home for landmark?, Maudlyne Ihejirika, The Chicago Sun-Times, February 5, 2010
  5. ^ http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=13596
  6. ^ Brantley, Ben, "Good Defenses Make Good Neighbors," New York Times, Feb. 22, 2010.

External links


Simple English

A Raisin In The Sun is an American play that was written by Lorraine Hansberry in 1959. It is about a lower-class African American family who receives $10,000 of inheritance money after the grandfather dies, and the family argues on what it should be spent on.

Characters

Walter - He is the main character of the play and the father. He is a cab driver who has the dream of being a bartender who is wealthy and successful. He takes most of the $10,000 to invest it in a bar. He realizes that he was scammed and he lost all of the money (which angered Mama). He was offered thousands of dollars to move out of the neighborhood (because African Americans living in a white neighborhood lowered the value of the houses). Throughout the play, he considers the offer, but at the end he says no. Walter, at the end of the play, may have lost a lot of money, but he keeps his dignity and learns a big lesson.

Travis - Walter's 10 or 11-year old son who admires his father. He represents the theme of innocence.

Ruth - Walter's wife and emotional support of the family. While Walter has his dreams and fantasies about being rich and successful, Ruth brings him back to reality.

Mama - The grandmother (wife of the grandfather). She is very old fashioned and religious. She is a strong-willed woman.

Beneatha - Beneatha is the sister of Walter. She tries to be an independent person by trying to learn more about African cultures, rather than conforming to the style of living that Americans have been accustomed to.

Other websites








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message