Tag Archives: lorraine hansberry

remembering Lorraine Hansberry

May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965

“I want to fly! I want to touch the sun!”

“Finish your eggs first.”

from the timeless American classic Broadway play, “A Raisin in the Sun”

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sharing my love of literature

This article introduced me to Nella Larsen. I love being an “always student”! It’s a great read and you may meet someone new too!

Literary Ladies Guide to the Writing Life: 6 Classic African American Women You Should Know More About

SHE CHRONICLES: Absent from Your Work

While studying film in grad school, a lot of my professors had taken on the “grassroots/indie” approach to their art and influenced the students as well.  Meaning, if you want it on the big screen you have to execute guerilla style film making and do everything yourself.  So being a writer and actor, when I first moved to Los Angeles, my natural inking was to write a play, cast it, direct it, produce it, market it, etc.

For me, that robbed me of the time I needed to be creative.  As my luck would have it, I went to a book reading for Ntozake Shange and she said something that saved me from a lot of future stress.  To paraphrase her, ‘write something so good, others will want to perform it, buy it and/or produce it.’  So after studying arts all through high school, undergrad and grad school, I found myself back in the library reading the timeline and art of some of my Sheros.

I sought to study the greats and determine how they were able to create timeless art that others yearned to bring to life and share with their perspective audiences.  That is my mission.  Especially with my play, “Hope’s Return”.

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Continue reading SHE CHRONICLES: Absent from Your Work

some days I feel like, lorraine hansberry

 

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Artists can be inspired by the simple things. The sudden swarm of birds on branches to a nostalgic smell of perfume or cologne. When I abandon concerns of the world, I am able to be inspired by almost anything because my senses are without judgement and I can apply optimism to everything! Perhaps this was the process Lorraine Hansberry encountered when she created the timeless theatrical masterpiece, A Raisin in the Sun.

She was inspired by the poem entitled, Harlem, by Langston Hughes. This was one of the first poems I memorized and one of the first I made my nephews memorize! This poem inspired her to write the play that put her in the history books. With her play, Raisin in the Sun, she became the first African American woman to write a play performed on Broadway and the youngest and fifth woman to receive the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. The success of this play led to it being translated in 35 different languages and inspired the talented Nina Simone to write her song, To Be Young, Gifted and Black. After Hansberry’s death, her husband was inspired to adapt a remaining collection of her work into a play with the same name of Simone’s song.

Art is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy… The origin of art derives from the antiquity of documenting life or scribing so it is not surprising that this string of inspirations are connected. Some days I feel like Lorraine Hansberry when I pick up a pen and begin to write after hearing a song or note on from a saxophone or analogy from a poem. I get inspired by people and situations around me and of course I hope I will leave inspiration to others.

Happy Birthday Lorraine Hansberry!

lorraine hansberry

First African American woman to produce a play on Broadway, “A Raisin in the Sun” (1959). This classic piece is still being produced some 55 years later. Wow… her name equals the meaning of true art! Creating something that will outlive you…