Film Roles In Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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Hansberry's Raisin in the Sun is set in a one-bedroom apartment shared by three generations of the Younger family: Walter and Ruth, their son Travis, Walter’s sister Beneatha, and their mother Lena.

The Younger family is waiting for a $10,000 life insurance check resulting from the father’s recent death. The windfall represents a kind of liberation to the family with the central conflict over how to spend the money. Mama (Lena) puts down a payment on a house in an all-white neighborhood (Clybourne Park), while Walter wants to invest in a liquor store. Mama relents, with the condition that they carve out $3,000 for Beneatha’s college education.

On moving day, a chance to make up for the lost money comes when a white representative offers the family a sum of money to prevent them from integrating a white neighborhood. Walter kicks
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Centered around a total of 10 leading and featured roles for African-American actors, A Raisin in the Sun made its Broadway debut on March 11, 1959. Up until then, there had only been 10 dramas authored by black playwrights (all men) and only one, Langston Hughes' Mulatto, lasted a year.

Hansberry's Broadway production starred Sidney Poitier and quickly became a hot ticket, running over 500 performances. Touring and international productions followed and a film version was released in 1961 (with the screenplay written by Hansberry — at her insistence — as part of the stipulations of selling the film rights).

The play was nominated for four Tony awards and was named the “best play” by the New York Drama Critics' Circle, making Hansberry the first African-American and youngest person to win the

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