A Raisin in the Sun: A Milestone in American Theatre

Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, premiered on Broadway on this day March 11th 1959.

Never before had so much of the truth of black people’s lives been seen onstage.—James Baldwin

The play was as much a milestone in the nation’s social history as it was in American theater. The first play written by a black woman to debut on Broadway, it was also the first Broadway play directed by a black man, Lloyd Richards. Centering upon the aspirations of a working-class African American family in one of Chicago’s south side neighborhoods as they try to break out of the poverty that seems to be their fate, it is a play about the American Dream, about the ambition to better one’s own life and that of one’s children.

EDSITEment Lesson plan, A Raisin in the Sun; The Quest for the American Dream assists teachers in raising these essential questions with students:

  • How does the play A Raisin in the Sun mirror the social, educational, political, and economical climate of the 1950s.
  • How does the play illustrate the impact this climate had on African Americans' quest for "The American Dream"?

This presentation demonstrates how teachers can use EDSITEment resources to satisfy the expectations of the Common Core while meeting the diverse needs of students in the classroom. More insights into Analyzing the American Dream for Common Core: "A Raisin in the Sun" can be found on the Community Hub.




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