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Looking for Lorraine : the radiant and radical life of Lorraine Hansberry / Imani Perry

Catalog Data

Perry, Imani 1972-  Search this
Hansberry, Lorraine 1930-1965 Political and social views  Search this
Physical description:
237 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
20th century
NMAF copy purchased with funds from the S. Dillon Ripley Endowment.
Introduction : Lorraine's time -- Migration song -- From heartland to the water's edge -- The girl who can do everything -- Bobby -- Sappho's poetry -- Raisin -- The trinity -- Of the faith of our fathers -- American radical -- The view from Chitterling Heights -- Homegoing -- Conclusion : retracing, May 2017
"A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet least understood, Black artists and intellectuals of the twentieth century"--
Best-known for her work A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry had an unflinching commitment to social justice which brought her under FBI surveillance when she was barely in her twenties. Hansberry associated with many activists, writers, and musicians; though she married a man, she identified as a lesbian. Perry provides insights into Hansberry's life and writings, and shows how her political activism is reflected in her works. -- adapted from jacket
"Lorraine Hansberry, who died in 1965 at age thirty-four, was, by all accounts, a force of nature. She was also one of the most radical, courageous, and prescient artist-intellectuals of the twentieth century--and one of the least understood. Defined largely by her groundbreaking play A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry has been hidden in plain sight for decades. Little of her manifold contributions, her associations, her other writing, or her transgressive nature is known. A prolific and probing artist, she also committed herself passionately to political activism. Hansberry's unflinching dedication to social justice brought her under FBI surveillance in the midst of McCarthyism, when she was barely in her twenties. Looking for Lorraine is the first biography of Hansberry in decades, and it shows her multi-dimensional and miraculous complexity. Hansberry was a child of Chicago's striving Black middle class but cast her lot with the working classes; she married a man--Jewish communist songwriter Robert Nemiroff--but described herself as a lesbian. Risking public censure and the prospect of being outed, she joined one of the nation's First lesbian organizations. Hansberry was a Black nationalist and an internationalist. She was befriended and beloved by many of the most important Black figures of her era, including James Baldwin, Nina Simone, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Paul Robeson. After the success of A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry used her stature in myriad ways: challenging President Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy to take bolder stances on civil rights, supporting African anticolonial leaders, and confronting the romantic racism of the Beat poets and Greenwich Village hipsters. In this watershed biography, Imani Perry takes us deep into Hansberry's relationships, explores her rich interior life and her influences, and, as Hansberry's papers were finally made available in 2010, unearths revealing themes from her unpublished writing. Looking for Lorraine gives us the ultimate gift of imagining Hansberry as a complete person--and of seeing her prodigious intellect, emotions, activism, and varied relationships at work together in her short but extraordinarily luminous life."--Dust jacket
Dramatists, American  Search this
African American dramatists  Search this
African American women civil rights workers  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries