On the Brief Life and Towering Accomplishments of Lorraine Hansberry
This Week on the History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today? Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
When Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) was a child, her father made the Hansberry name famous by fighting for justice in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. By the time she was 30, she herself was famous as the author of A Raisin in the Sun (1959), which tells the story of a black family attempting to purchase a home in a white neighborhood. In this episode, we look at the brief life and towering accomplishments of the woman who was the godmother to Nina Simone’s daughter and whose remarks to talented young African American students inspired Simone’s song “Young, Gifted and Black.”