Today in History: A Raisin in the Sun

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Margo Alexander

March 11, 1959 - The drama “A Raisin in the Sun” opens at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater. In this audio clip, Patricia Marx interviews playwright Lorraine Hansberry on the semi-autobiographical tale.


'What it involves is an examination of a family on the South Side of Chicago, where I was born, who belong to the lower classes, a family of domestic workers, who I hope are fairly typical of people who think that there is something more to do with your life than accept it as it is.'

'The young son becomes the pivot of drama and his ambition is to -- accepting American values in their totality-- to become a successful businessman. Very simply, the mother and his wife want to simply get a home, so there is a conflict between the two. In terms of a statement, I think what the play tries to say is that we really don’t have much in the world at all if we allow any aspect of money values to transcend the requirements that are necessary for human dignity.”

Thanks to WNYC Archivist Andy Lanset