Civil Rights In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun

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As far back as humans have studied, music has been one of the ultimate symbols of time. Instruments and music compositions have shown historians how people were living and the struggles they faced. Even the song “Yankee Doodle” possessed historical significance, providing a deeper and almost comical understanding of the tension between the British and the Americans during the American revolution. In the mid 1900s, artists such as Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Mahalia Jackson sang songs relating to gender discrimination, racism, and social justice in America during the Civil Rights Movement. Authors addressed comparable issues, and Lorraine Hansberry was one of them. Three classic songs from the Civil Rights era mirror the independent,…show more content…
In her song “I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free,” Nina Simone expresses corresponding beliefs to Beneatha Younger, a self-sufficient, passionate character in A Raisin in the Sun. Beneatha finds restrictions and inequality intolerable, and she shrinks from the idea of being governed or constrained by others; nevertheless, she is unwillingly exposed to gender inequity and harassed constantly by the men in her life. Laden with comparable burdens to Beneatha, Simone sings of how she wishes to know “how it would feel to be free” and to “break all the chains holding [her]” (Simone 1-4). Though both women were born in America, neither felt fully free. In A Raisin in the Sun, Beneatha feels the sting of sexism when Walter comments on her dream to become a doctor. According to the text, Walter inquires about her decision quite frequently, and even remarks that there “ain’t many girls who decide … to be a doctor” (Hansberry 39). To achieve her vision for the future, Beneatha cannot afford to be discouraged by her own family. She wants to find her identity, her soul. The family does not have enough money to send her to medical school, and though Mama planned
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