Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965)

Osborne, Deirdre. 2018. Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965). In: David Palmer, ed. Visions of Tragedy in Modern American Drama. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 115-123. ISBN 9781474276924 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Lorraine Hansberry’s drama addresses the magnitude of two of the most significant systems of violence and displacement in human history that continue to haunt institutional and social relations globally: enslavement and colonisation. The award-winning A Raisin in the Sun (1959) and her unfinished play Les Blancs begun in 1961 (and later completed by her ex-husband and literary executor, Robert Nemiroff from her notes and their conversations), confirm her application of an internationalist vision to a homegrown American context, and her own status as a black middle-class woman writer in a white-male-dominated world of theatre. While the majority of her work recognises and reminds audiences and readers of the tragedy of racism and white supremacy’s toll upon black people’s lives, as this chapter explores, it also brims with the energy of redressing this grim legacy in a broad-reaching call for equality and human rights that is both local and internationally connected.

Item Type:

Book Section


Les Blancs, Lorraine Hansberry, colonization, Black theatre, tragedy

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


8 February 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

14 Mar 2017 12:07

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2022 18:12



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