English 9 9 -22 -15 OBJECTIVE: SWBAT understand how Lorraine Hansberry came to write A Raisin in the Sun at this particular time in history. ACTIVATOR: What can you infer about the following picture? HOMEWORK: In one paragraph or more, explain why Lorraine Hansberry was influenced to write at this time in history.
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry Historical Context
Civil Rights Movement (1955 -1968) • Americans fighting for equality across race and gender lines • Focus on nonviolence • Black Americans and their struggle for recognition and power
• Desegregation of schools and other public places a major goal • Right to live and work where you choose • Getting rid of “separate but equal” – Established before the Civil War – Meant that Blacks and Whites could be segregated so long as there were equivalent facilities for both races
Little Rock Nine: School Desegregation
Separate but Equal? • Black students requested to attend an all-white school and were granted their request • Arkansas governor attempted to stop them by putting soldiers around the school, but President Eisenhower took charge of the soldiers, requiring them instead to protect the students • Students were spit at, yelled at, and tormented by adults • When the public saw these pictures, they began to realize that “separate but equal” was not equal at all
• http: //www. teachertube. com/video/littlerock-9 -196454
Nonviolence • refusing to engage in violent acts, even if others are committing violent acts against you • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a proponent of this, and he even died for it
Nonviolent Protest • Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus strike – For a year, many Blacks boycotted the Montgomery bus system, eventually forcing them to get rid of segregation on buses • Lunch counter sit-ins
Instructions for Protest • Do not respond to words spoken to you. • Do not look at anyone who says something to you. • Act with honor and dignity. • If anyone physically harms you, do not retaliate. • Do not talk among yourselves or with other people on the sidewalk.
Freedom Riders: Coming Together
Afrocentrism • The idea that all culture and humanity began in Africa and extended outwards to the rest of the continents • Sought to recapture and instill pride in Black culture • Still taught today in some schools around the country
Afrocentrism (cont. ) • Fought against “Eurocentric” ways of thinking • Many wanted to move to Africa to recapture their origins • Believed America had failed in granting equality and would never be a home
Liberia • Marcus Garvey, a prominent Black leader of the 1920’s and 1930’s, began encouraging Blacks to move here • Wanted to create an ideal home for Blacks who had been stolen from their homeland • Some felt that this was not a solution, that more action needed to be taken to help matters at home
Lorraine Hansberry • Raised in Chicago • Academic parents • Youngest playwright, fifth woman, and only Black artist to receive NY Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play • First Black female to have a play produced on Broadway
A Raisin in the Sun • Inspired by her childhood growing up in a White neighborhood • Opened on Broadway in 1959 • First play to portray Black characters on stage in a realistic way – No stereotypes – Typical American family • One of the few plays at that time that had strong female characters
Meet the Younger Family
The Younger Family • Mama Younger – matriarch of the family, widow • Walter Younger – named after his father, wants to open a business • Ruth Younger – Walter’s wife, struggling to find a way to help Walter be happy • Beneatha Younger – Walter’s sister, educated, wants to be a doctor • Travis Younger – Walter and Ruth’s son
Setting • Chicago, between the end of World War II and 1959 • A small apartment on the South Side of Chicago
Exit Question: • Why would Hansberry be able to have her play produced at this time but not earlier?