First Edition of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun; From the Library of Novelist James Baldwin

  • A Raisin In the Sun.
  • A Raisin In the Sun.
  • A Raisin In the Sun.
  • A Raisin In the Sun.

A Raisin In the Sun.

$8,200.00

Item Number: 99894

New York: Random House, 1959.

First edition of this groundbreaking play, the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway. Octavo, original half cloth. From the library of James Baldwin with his signature to the front free endpaper. Hansberry moved to Harlem in 1951 where she joined the staff of the African American journal Freedom Newspaper and worked on stories not only related to the Civil Rights Movement, but global struggles against colonialism and imperialism. It was during the period in which she conceived of A Raisin in the Sun that she also became involved in the emerging gay rights movement, of which James Baldwin had become the leading literary voice. In 1963, Baldwin was invited to the Manhattan apartment of Robert F. Kennedy to discuss the current state of race relations in the United States. In addition to several other prominent figures in the Civil Rights Movement including Kenneth Clark and Clarence Benjamin Jones, Baldwin invited Hansberry who had become an important voice in the movement. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Jacket design by Stan Phillips and Mel Williamson. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

The first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway, this groundbreaking play starred Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee and Diana Sands in the Broadway production which opened in 1959. Set on Chicago's South Side, the plot revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama. When her deceased husband's insurance money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans, however: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama. Winner of the Drama Critic's Award as Best Play of the Year, it has been hailed as a "pivotal play in the history of the American Black theatre" by Newsweek and "a milestone in the American Theatre."

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