A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
As part of the Advanced Placement English curriculum during my junior year (11th grade) of high school, we had the option of reading one of two plays. This and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. I read the latter with no problem. I purchased both works, but never got around to reading A Raisin in the Sun. Unfortunately, I think some of the reason I didn’t select Hansberry was because there was this sense of you should learn more about your heritage. But when it came to the students it seemed as if ones blackness was called into question if you weren’t reading all of these prominent black female writers when given the option (Toni Morrison, naturally another). I certainly appreciated the fact that a southern suburban high school, gave us the option, and didn’t insist on only reading white American male authors. However, all the other females in my class of black heritage were reading it, and this notion of we’re going to determine who you are was a huge turn off. So, I resisted. Plus the synopsis for Menagerie appealed more to me. What amused me later, was when we watched film adaptations, these students were some of the first who seemed disinterested in either play. Further encouraging me to remove myself from this display of false pride flag waving. Years later, it’s still in my unread pile…until now. After reading one play I was in the mood for another and thought what better time to rectify this wrong that was no fault of Hansberry’s, but self-exploring adolescent circumstances.
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