Timeless Themes A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

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One of the most notable plays on the topic of racial minorities and family issues, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, has continued to be popular since it was written in 1959. The play is about an African American family, consisting of five members, who live in Southside Chicago during the post-World-War-Two era. The Younger family is crowded in a tiny, worn, and shabby apartment and they are fairly poor. They never have much surplus money until Walter’s father, and Mama’s husband, died and the family received a life-insurance check for ten thousand dollars. The play follows the family’s journey through the fights and distress that come from suddenly obtaining a large amount of money and the differing opinions on how the money…show more content…
Meanwhile, many white people started moving away from cities and into the suburb areas because of revolutionized housing developments that made standard, suburban homes affordable and the advancement of transportation that allowed people to live farther away from the cities while still enjoying its amenities (Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas Andrew Bailey). There were increases in the presence of minorities as they too moved into the congested cities and tensions rose as African Americans, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, etc. competed for the same jobs and housing arrangements (Pacyga). Amiri Baraka observes in her critique, of A Raisin in the Sun, that, “[f]or many of us it wasand remainsthe quintessential civil rights drama.” Hansberry plays off these tensions in A Raisin in the Sun by having Mama purchase a home in Clyborne Park, a nearby neighborhood which, as Walter expresses, “Mama, there ain’t no colored folk in Clyborne Park” (Hansberry 1465). After the people in the neighborhood learn that an African American family is going to move into one of the local houses, they send a representative of the Clyborne Park Improvement Association, Karl Lindner, to attempt to buy the house back from the Youngers. Walter and Ruth are appalled by Lindner’s audacity and promptly tell him no and send him away. Hansberry includes the word “improvement” in association’s name to emphasize how strongly the neighborhood felt against whom they viewed as inferior

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