Lorraine Hansberry ….. “A Raisin in the Sun”!!


~~May 19, 2014~~ 

Lorraine Hansberry, author of “A Raisin in the Sun”—she was born today in 1930! When it opened in 1959, the play was the first written by an African-American woman to make it to Broadway.

Lorraine Vivian Hansberry (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965) was an American playwright and writer. Hansberry inspired Nina Simone’s song “To Be Young, Gifted and Black“.

She was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. Her best known work, the play A Raisin in the Sun, highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago.

Hansberry’s family had struggled against segregation, challenging a restrictive covenant and eventually provoking the Supreme Court case Hansberry v. Lee. The title of the play was taken from the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes: “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?”

After she moved to New York City, Hansberry worked at the Pan-Africanist newspaper Freedom, where she dealt with intellectuals such as Paul Robeson and W. E. B. Du Bois. Much of her work during this time concerned the African struggle for liberation and their impact on the world.

Hansberry has been identified as a lesbian, and sexual freedom is an important topic in several of her works. She died of cancer at the age of 34.

Lorraine Hansberry
Lorraine Hansberry.jpg
Born Lorraine Vivian Hansberry
May 19, 1930
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died January 12, 1965 (aged 34)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Playwrightwriterstage director
Nationality American
Education University of Wisconsin–Madison
The New School
Spouse(s) Robert Nemiroff (m. 1953–62)

~~Family~~

Lorraine Hansberry was the youngest of four children born to Carl Augustus Hansberry, a successful real-estate broker, and Nannie Louise (neé Perry) a school teacher. In 1938, her father bought a house in the Washington Park Subdivision of the South Side of Chicago, violating a restrictive covenant and incurring the wrath of their white neighbors. The latter’s legal efforts to force the Hansberry family out culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hansberry v. Lee. The restrictive covenant was ruled contestable, though not inherently invalid. Carl Hansberry was also a supporter of the Urban League and NAACP in Chicago. Both Hansberrys were active in the Chicago Republican Party. Carl died in 1946, when Lorraine was fifteen years old; “American racism helped kill him,” she later said.

The Hansberrys were routinely visited by prominent Black intellectuals, including W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson. Carl Hansberry’s brother, William Leo Hansberry, founded the African Civilization section of the history department at Howard University. Lorraine was taught: ‘‘Above all, there were two things which were never to be betrayed: the family and the race.’’

Lorraine Hansberry has many notable relatives including director and playwright Shauneille Perry, whose eldest child is named after her. Her grand-niece is actress Taye Hansberry. Her cousin is the flautist, percussionist, and composer Aldridge Hansberry.

Hansberry became the godmother to Nina Simone‘s daughter Lisa — now Simone.

~~Marriage and sexuality~~

On June 20, 1953, she married Robert Nemiroff, a Jewish publisher, songwriter and political activist. Hansberry and Nemiroff moved to Greenwich Village, the setting of The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window. Success of the song “Cindy, Oh Cindy“, co-authored by Nemiroff, enabled Hansberry to start writing full-time.

It is widely believed that Hansberry was a closeted lesbian, a theory supported by her secret writings in letters and personal notebooks. She was an activist for gay rights and wrote about feminism and homophobia, joining the Daughters of Bilitis and contributing two letters to their magazine, The Ladder, in 1957 under her initials “LHN.” She separated from her husband at this time, but they continued to work together.

A Raisin in the Sun was written at this time and completed in 1957.

~~Beliefs~~

On her religious views, Hansberry was an atheist.

According to historian Fanon Che Wilkins, “Hansberry believed that gaining civil rights in the United States and obtaining independence in colonial Africa were two sides of the same coin that presented similar challenges for Africans on both sides of the Atlantic.” In response to the independence of Ghana, led by Kwame Nkrumah, Hansberry wrote: “The promise of the future of Ghana is that of all the colored peoples of the world; it is the promise of freedom.”

Regarding tactics, Hansberry said Blacks “must concern themselves with every single means of struggle: legal, illegal, passive, active, violent and non-violent. They must harass, debate, petition, give money to court struggles, sit-in, lie-down, strike, boycott, sing hymns, pray on steps — and shoot from their windows when the racists come cruising through their communities.”

In a Town Hall debate on June 15, 1964, Hansberry criticized white liberals who couldn’t accept civil disobedience, expressing a need “to encourage the white liberal to stop being a liberal and become an American radical.” At the same time, she said, “some of the first people who have died so far in this struggle have been white men.”

Hansberry was a critic of existentialism, which she considered too distant from the world’s economic and geopolitical realities. Along these lines, she wrote a critical review of Richard Wright’s The Outsider and went on to style her final play Les Blancs as a foil to Jean Genet’s absurdist Les Nègres. However, Hansberry admired Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex.

In 1959, Hansberry commented that women who are “twice oppressed” may become “twice militant”. She held out some hope for male allies of women, writing in an unpublished essay: “If by some miracle women should not ever utter a single protest against their condition there would still exist among men those who could not endure in peace until her liberation had been achieved.”

Hansberry was appalled by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which took place while she was in high school, and expressed desire for a future in which: “Nobody fights. We get rid of all the little bombs — and the big bombs.” She did believe in the right of people to defend themselves with force against their oppressors.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began surveillance of Hansberry when she prepared the Montevideo peace conference. The Washington, D.C. office searched her passport files “in an effort to obtain all available background material on the subject, any derogatory information contained therein, and a photograph and complete description,” while officers in Milwaukee and Chicago examined her life history.

Later, an FBI reviewer of Raisin in the Sun highlighted its Pan-Africanist themes as dangerous.

~~Death~~

After a battle with pancreatic cancer she died on January 12, 1965, aged 34. James Baldwin believed “it is not at all farfetched to suspect that what she saw contributed to the strain which killed her, for the effort to which Lorraine was dedicated is more than enough to kill a man.”

Hansberry’s funeral was held in Harlem on January 15, 1965. Paul Robeson and SNCC organizer James Forman gave eulogies. The presiding minister, Eugene Callender, recited messages from Baldwin and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. which read: “Her creative ability and her profound grasp of the deep social issues confronting the world today will remain an inspiration to generations yet unborn.”

She is buried at Asbury United Methodist Church Cemetery in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

~~Legacy~~

Raisin, a musical based on A Raisin in the Sun, opened in New York in 1973, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical, with the book by Nemiroff, music by Judd Woldin, and lyrics by Robert Britten. A Raisin in the Sun was revived on Broadway in 2004 and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Revival of a Play. The cast included Sean Combs (“P Diddy”) as Walter Lee Younger Jr., Phylicia Rashad (Tony Award-winner for Best Actress) and Audra McDonald (Tony Award-winner for Best Featured Actress). It was produced for television in 2008 with the same cast, garnering two NAACP Image Awards.

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Hansberry as one of his 100 Greatest African Americans.

The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre of San Francisco, which specializes in original stagings and revivals of African-American theatre, is named in her honor. Singer and pianist Nina Simone, who was a close friend of Hansberry, used the title of her unfinished play to write a civil rights-themed song “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” together with Weldon Irvine. The single reached the top 10 of the R&B charts. A studio recording by Simone was released as a single and the first live recording on October 26, 1969, was captured on Black Gold (1970).

Lincoln University‘s first-year female dormitory is named Lorraine Hansberry Hall. There is a school in the Bronx called Lorraine Hansberry Academy, and an elementary school in St. Albans, Queens, New York, named after Hansberry as well.

On the eightieth anniversary of Hansberry’s birth, Adjoa Andoh presented a BBC Radio 4 programme entitled “Young, Gifted and Black” in tribute to her life.

In 2013, Lorraine Hansberry was posthumously inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

~~SOURCE~~

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorraine_Hansberry#cite_note-Blau-1

https://www.facebook.com/womenshistory?fref=photo

https://www.facebook.com/amightygirl?fref=photo

https://www.youtube.com/user/hansberrydoc

~~Works~~

A Raisin in the Sun (1959)
A Raisin in the Sun, screenplay (1961)
“On Summer” (essay) (1960)
The Drinking Gourd (1960)
What Use Are Flowers? (written c. 1962)
The Arrival of Mr. Todog – parody of Waiting for Godot
The Movement: Documentary of a Struggle for Equality (1964)
The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window (1965)
To Be Young, Gifted and Black: Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words (1969)
Les Blancs: The Collected Last Plays / by Lorraine Hansberry. Edited by Robert Nemiroff (1994)
Toussaint. This fragment from a work in progress, unfinished at the time of Hansberry’s untimely death, deals with a Haitian plantation owner and his wife whose lives are soon to change drastically as a result of the revolution of Toussaint L’Ouverture. (From the Samuel French, Inc. catalogue of plays.)

~~Lorraine Hansberry: Mini – DOCUMENTARY~~

~~Uploaded on Jan 10, 2011~~

Lorraine Hansberry (May 19, 1930[1] — January 12, 1965) was an African American playwright and author of political speeches, letters, and essays. Her best known work, A Raisin in the Sun, was inspired by her family’s legal battle against racially segregated housing laws in the Washington Park Subdivision of the South Side of Chicago during her childhood.

Hansberry attended the University of Wisconsin — Madison, but found college uninspiring and left in 1950 to pursue her career as a writer in New York City, where she attended The New School. She worked on the staff of the black newspaper Freedom under the auspices of Paul Robeson, and worked with W. E. B. DuBois, whose office was in the same building. A Raisin in the Sun was written at this time, and was a huge success. It was the first play written by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway.

At 29 years, she became the youngest American playwright and only the fifth woman to receive the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. While many of her other writings were published in her lifetime – essays, articles, and the text for the SNCC book The Movement, the only other play given a contemporary production was The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window.

We ALL are ONE!! 

~~To Be Young, Gifted And Black – Nina Simone – Live – 1986~~

~~Uploaded on Mar 20, 2010~~

The Video “To Be Young, Gifted And Black” by Nina Simone was recorded in front of the liveconcert at 21 December 1986 in Zürich by ISIS VOICE.

All Rights Reserved © Produced by ISIS VOICE Bern – Switzerland A listen to the magic of “ISIS VOICE” production © Dr. Nina Simone & ISIS VOICE, Suzanne E. Baumann

Will never be forgotten!

“My Wings” ….. by “Just Patty” arrived today!!


~~April 7, 2014~~

I’m so excited!! The book arrived in today’s mail. “My Wings” is finally here. I have to set special time aside to start reading it and get lost in all the feelings and emotion expressed in the power of Patty’s written words. 

I browsed the Amazon.com website. Her book is already there. Amazing reviews have already been written about it. 

~~Editorial Reviews~~

About the Author

Just Patty is the poet name used by the Dutch writer Patty van Delft.
Why the name ‘Just Patty’? Because writing poetry is a naked reflection of the heart and soul, nothing more and nothing less. It’s ‘just you’ without decorations. The poetry by Just Patty is mostly a combination of dark thoughts, loss, grief, love and the courage to continue fighting no matter what. ‘I have always being attracted to the more darker forms of poetry, I adore Edgar Allan Poe. Maybe because dark poetry seems to be more raw. Before I started to write dark poetry, the darkness was already inside me. Always lurking right beneath the surface, waiting till I lost my strength so it could consume me. Because I let it out now every once in a while by writing, I was able to tame the beast and be the person who I am today. Me, without restrictions or suppression.’ The art that Just Patty uses to illustrate her poetry is made by her. She models for her own photos, shoots them and does the editing as well. ‘Poetry is a way of showing your darkest thoughts and deepest feelings through the art of words. Listen to the music of your soul and let your pen dance to the rhythm.’
PattyPoem
My Wings, by Just Patty, a book of poetry worthy of your consideration, is in the mainstream of the best that is out there. Move this poetry book to the top of your list! It is a roller coaster of emotions. Part I, My Dark Wings, with around 58 poems, and Part II, My Light Wings, with maybe 54 poems, are written by the Dutch author, Patty van Delft. In My Wings, this rising star of a poet establishes herself as a force to be reckoned with. This is no ordinary poetry book as a listing of emotions and topics will attest. And the exquisite, unique photographs with accompanying verses are by Patty herself doubling as both photographer and model! Her images are strikingly beautiful.
The poetry is a mix of both free form and rhyme and meter, giving the poems a freedom and charm that entrance the reader. The poems are a diatribe on the ups & downs of life. One suspects the subject matter comes from the author’s circle of life, both hers and those around her, family and friends. My Dark Wings has not only the travails of life, but its loves. And My Light Wings has the love of life and its travails.
And so the reader sets out on a journey through a maze of upheaval and passion. Emotions such as, but not limited to, loss, grief, fear, frustration, depression, strength, courage, despair, hope, anger, hate, love and so much more! Topics touched on, but not limited to, survival regret, failure, abuse, drugs, abandonment, revenge, cowardice, discouragement, disgrace, sanity, hopelessness, and so much more! And with these are intertwined the important, recurring themes of fighting on no matter what, demons, nightmares, the “mask,” wings, love in all its dimensions, and more. And those wings, dark and light, predominate many of the excellent photographs.
These poems hold a few surprises and ironies. Curiously, heaven and eternity show themselves, perhaps, only twice. Of favorite poems there be too many. Hard pressed to pick a few poems, in Part I try “Hells Bells,” and in Part II look at “Love me for who I am.”
It is no wonder “Just Patty” van Delft’s favorite author, so it is said, is Edgar Allan Poe. To Poe’s genre of the macabre, Patty has taken the form and made it her own in our times. In the words of another giant in literature, John Keats, her “…poetry comes… as naturally as the Leaves to a tree.”
You can find Phillip at …. http://excuseusforliving.com/
Patty2
I had the honour and pleasure of Beta reading Patty’s book before it was published and I am very impressed with the depth of feeling she puts into each and every poem.

They range from the hopes and prayers of those who love deeply, to the declarations of war against those who would oppress others.

The photographs, included in the book, are a stunning accompaniment to her poetry.

By: Jullian Autry on April 7, 2014

I loved this book, beautiful writing, tasty art. This book is filled with poems, it also contains great photography. Patty does an amazing job with both volumes of her “light” and “dark” wings poetry. You can’t find this passion anywhere else.
Highly recommended read, 10/10!
You get an opportunity to see into her life, feel her emotions and walk with her down her path.
This is a book that you will read every page of, and enjoy it all!
I can only imagine even more great things coming from this author.
Patty3
“From the heart by Patty, loved this!”
By: Shauny, April 7, 2014
I got this a few days after it came out and the depth of soul and love just oozed from the pages. Patty also did a lot of deep and meaningful stuff but each and every word I believed, it came from the right place.
For any poet out there I would give this 10/10 and really give this a read.
Best few pounds I have spent in a long time as a big book buyer on Amazon elsewhere..
Breathtaking first book from an amazing woman and writer.
She bears her heart and soul in this book. You can’t NOT be inspired.
Loved it!
You can find Shaun at …. http://shaunynews.wordpress.com/
“Mia sorella il poeta!”
April 7, 2014
I not only had the privilege but also the great honor to read this prior to its official release. My Wings,is a dual volume of both her “dark” and “light” poetry. It is a superb collection of her writing and I urge you all to grab a copy; and enjoy it with a glass of rum or wine. It is very moving both the Dark and Light Wings sections of it! The flow of the words across my tongue and the images the convey are well worth the wonderful read!
You can find Rev. Tatro at …. http://bishoptatro.wordpress.com/
Patty4
“My Wings”
By: horty rexach, April 7, 2014
I have the pleasure and the honor to know Patty personally. She’s a young, bright, talented upcoming photographer, poet and writer who has had some experiences in her life which have molded her as the strong person she is. In spite of this, she has continued to battle on this path that we call life. Out of this, she has used the feelings she has had … and, as a painter would to canvas, she uses the written word for expression. This book is an indicator of these experiences and feelings. The has a “light” side and a “dark” side, as we all do.
Patty writes from the heart and wears her feelings on her sleeve. I love this final product of all the snippets that she has been posting on her blog.

If you want to experience “real life” emotions, this is the book to read!! I can’t wait to get my copy. Totally and completely recommend this book. Rating 5 stars +!!

Patty5
We ALL are connected through this wonderful web we WEAVE!!
We ALL are ONE!!
PM
Patty’s Blog: http://petitemagique.wordpress.com/

Bok Tower Gardens … Central Florida!


~~March 4, 2014~~

Bok Tower Gardens (also known as Bok Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower) is a botanical garden and bird sanctuary, located north of Lake WalesFloridaUnited States.

It consists of a 250-acre (100 ha) garden, the 205-foot (62 m) tall Singing Tower with its carillon bells, Pine Ridge Trail, Pinewood Estate, and a visitor center. The tower is built upon Iron Mountain, one of the highest points of peninsular Florida, estimated to be 295 feet (90 m) above sea level

It is a National Historic Landmark that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bok Tower Gardens is open daily and an admission fee is charged.

Bok Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower
Bok Tower, March 2008
Location 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake WalesFlorida USA
Coordinates 27°56′07.2″N 81°34′39″WCoordinates27°56′07.2″N 81°34′39″W
Built 1927-1929 by Mary Louise Curtis and Edward W. Bok
Architect Milton B. Medary (tower)
Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.(gardens)
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 72000350
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 21, 1972
Designated NHL April 19, 199

~~History~~

The gardens began in 1921 when a Dutch immigrant, Edward W. Bok, editor of the popular women’s magazine Ladies Home Journal and his wife, Mary Louise Curtis Bok, who would found the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1924, were spending the winter beside Florida‘s Lake Wales Ridge and decided to create a bird sanctuary on its highest hill (298 feet above sea level, 91 meters).

Bok commissioned noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to transform what then was an arid sand hill into “a spot of beauty second to none in the country”. The first year was spent digging trenches and laying pipes for irrigation, after which soil was brought to the site by thousands of truck loads and plantings began. The Olmsted plan included the planting of 1,000 large live oaks, 10,000 azaleas, 100 sabal palms, 300 magnolias, and 500 gordonias, as well as hundreds of fruit shrubs including blueberry and holly.

Attempts were made to introduce flamingos to the sanctuary several times, which is why early renderings of the tower show flamingos at the reflection pool rather than swans. These early efforts were unsuccessful, however, as the flamingos were not native to central Florida and could not survive the winters that were cooler than those of southern Florida where they may be found.

Under construction for over five years, Bok Tower Gardens was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge on February 1, 1929. Edward Bok died on January 9, 1930 and was interred at the base of the tower.

~~Gardens~~

Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. designed the meandering gardens of Bok Tower Gardens to feature acres of ferns, palms, oaks, pines, and wetland plants. The plantings also include camellias, tree ferns, creeping fig, yaupon and dahoon holly,Asiatic jasminejusticia, crinum and spider lilymonsterawax myrtle, date and sabal palmpapyrusphilodendron, blue plumbago, and horsetail rush (Juncaceae).

The site is a refuge for more than a hundred bird species. Wild turkey and groups of sandhill cranes are also often seen wandering the grounds.

Bok Tower Gardens 2011

Uploaded on Mar 8, 2011

New footage of the incredible Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida during the spring bloom.

~~Singing Tower~~

~~The ornate brass door leading into Bok Tower and details of its stonework~~

The Singing Tower is the centerpiece of the gardens.

The tower was built at the highest elevation of the site, south of a reflection pool that allows the water to reflect its full image. A 60-bell carillon (cast by Taylor) set within the 205-foot (62 m) tall, Gothic Revival and Art Deco tower that was designed by architect Milton B. Medary.

Construction on the tower began in 1927 and was completed for the dedication of the gardens in 1929, when it was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge. The tower is 51 feet (16 m) square at its base, changing form at 150 feet (46 m) high to an octagon with 37 feet (11 m) sides that include sculptures designed by Lee Lawrie.

The tower is surrounded by a 15-foot (4.6 m) moat that serves as a Koi pond. It is built of pink Etowah marble and gray Creole marble, mined in Tate, Georgia, and Florida native coquina stone, from Daytona Beach, Florida.

Although the tower’s interior is not open to the public, it contains the Anton Brees Carillon Library, said to be the largest carillon library in the world. It also is home to the Chao Research Center Archives which keeps various institutional records related to Bok Tower. Every year,however, graduating seniors from Lake Wales High School, a local high school located down the street from the tower, have the very rare opportunity to see the inside of the tower.

Inside the bell chamber is a playing room that houses a clavier, or keyboard, that is used for playing the carillon bells. Recitals are given daily from the 60-bell carillon set.

~~Education~~

Bok Tower Gardens provides an authentic and engaging educational program directed towards many different types of learners. The mission of the Bok Tower Gardens Education Department is, “to connect and engage learners of all ages in quality programming that creates appreciation, knowledge and awareness of the environment, art, history and culture.”

Bok Tower Gardens Education Department works diligently to deliver five main educational values that include: advocacy of relevant education, accessibility for all learners, academic excellence, authentic learning experiences, and collaborative partnerships.

~~Pinewood Estate~~

All of the Education Department’s programs and field trips align with the Florida Sunshine State Standards and Polk County Curriculum Maps. The lessons presented in the Education Department’s curriculum guide cover academic areas such as science, nature, visual & performance arts, culture and history.

The curriculum guide was created to help students explore and discover Bok Tower Gardens before, during and after their trip. Students are able to learn detailed information about the gardens, the singing tower, Pinewood Estate and the Visitor Center that is contained within the curriculum guide.

Official Website: http://boktowergardens.org/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/boktowergardens

~~Bok Singing Tower and Gardens – Lake Wales, FL~~

Published on Jun 19, 2013

There are many great attractions in Central Florida.

But if you want to spend some time in a paradise, in the ‘American Taj Mahal‘, head south on US 27 off I-4 W toward Sebring until you come to Lake Wales then follow the signs to Bok Singing Tower and Gardens.

A National Historic Site, Bok Tower is one of the most peaceful and beautiful spots in the nation.

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We ALL are connected through NATURE!! 

We ALL are ONE!!