Lorraine Hansberry

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Lorraine Hansberry rejected the limitations of her race and gender and through her written works, became a social activist and expanded the role of a black woman in America. Lorraine Hansberry wrote many works that allowed her to explain her views. She also explored these ideas through playwrights. Lorraine Hansberry was said to be a spearhead of the future. She was a woman who refused to be confined by the categories of race and gender (Tripp 3). Lorraine Hansberry was born in 1930. Both of her parents’ were activists challenging discrimination laws. Many famous black people frequently visited her home because of her parent's authority (Tripp 2). Two of these famous black Americans that often visited Lorraine’s home were Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes. They were her "shining light" so to speak. Especially when it came time for her to find her own place in the New York literary world (Cheney 36).

Paul Robeson provided great inspiration for Lorraine’s writings. On the other hand, Langston Hughes gave her a social consciousness of her poetic possibilities of her own race. He also gave her an appreciation of the black American culture. She had also learned from Hughes that in spite of obstacles, black people remained a powerful force in America (Cheney 46-53). Although the Hansberry family was comfortably settled as middle-class economic status, they were still subject to the racial segregation and discrimination characteristic of the period, and they were most active in opposing it (Smith 147). Lorraine’s writing career was started in the area of magazines. She was writing for Paul Robeson’s Freedom magazine. At this time, Lorraine would always say, "I was born black and female," these were the twin identities that would dominate her life and her work. This was her source of motivation, by retelling this statement...