Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Lorraine Hansberry

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Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Lorraine Hansberry
b. 1930, Chicago; d. 1965, New York

Pioneering playwright Lorraine Hansberry wrote A Raisin in the Sun (1959). The first drama written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway, it won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Broadway play of the 1958–59 season. Exploring racism, segregation, and poverty, the play was adapted to film, featuring Sidney Poitier, in 1961. Only thirty-four when she died of pancreatic cancer, Hansberry left behind a number of unfinished works. Her ex-husband Robert Nemiroff adapted some of these writings into the play To Be Young Gifted and Black (1969), which was published in book form as To Be Young, Gifted and Black: Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words (1970).

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