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Lorraine Hansberry
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    (May 19, 1930-January 12, 1965)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Wrote the plays 'A Raisin in the Sun' (1959) and 'The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window' (1964)
    Other writings adapted into the play 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black' (1968)
    Incomplete works published as 'Les Blancs: The Collected Last Plays' (1994)
    Her second play was nowhere near as successful as her first.
    NBC rejected her script for 'The Drinking Gourd,' a movie about slavery, as too controversial for TV.
    She moved to Los Angeles to escape allegations that her family were slumlords in Chicago.
    P. Diddy made his Broadway debut in a revival of 'Raisin in the Sun.'
    After her parents moved the family to a whites-only neighborhood, their house was repeatedly vandalized and she was harassed on the way to and from school.
    She met her husband, Robert Nemiroff, on a picket line while both were protesting discrimination against black athletes at New York University.
    She was the youngest person and first African American to win the New York Drama Critics Award (1959).
    When an interviewer said of Raisin, 'This is not really a Negro play, it's a play about people,' she responded, 'Well, I hadn't noticed the contradiction because I was under the impression that Negroes are people.'
    She inspired the Nina Simone song 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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