FC: Author/Poet Biographies: Lorraine Hansberry & Langston Hughes
1: About the Authors/Poets: Lorraine Hansberry and Langston Hughes Created By: Abby Rouse, Marck Del Castillo, Garrett Cox, TJ Williams
2: Lorraine Hansberry
3: About Lorraine Hansberry: (May 19, 1930 - Jan. 12, 1965) Lorraine Hansberry was a well known writer as well as an American playwright. "A Raisin in the Sun" was actually one of the first drama by an African woman to be produced on Broadway.
4: Lorraine Hansberry grew up in a middle-class family in the city of Chicago. Her family moved into a full white neighborhood when she was younger and her family even had to enter a court room over the issue because of what the law stated in 1937-1938. Racism was a huge issue to Lorraine and her family. The Hansberry's home was vandalized on several occasions, but these obstacles did not stop her from pursuing her dream in writing and Broadway.
5: Rights of African Americans was always a heart issue for Lorraine Hansberry. During her career, she studied African culture and History with W.E.B. DuBois. | "A Raisin in the Sun" is not the only work she has done showing her passion for African rights. While she was working with W.E.B. DuBois she was also in the process of writing for Paul Robeson's Freedom magazine and was extremely involved with liberal causes. Lorraine Hansberry was later known for being the youngest and first African American to win the Drama Desk Award for "A Raisin in the Sun".
6: Lorraine Hansberry was later nominated for Screenwriter's Guild Award for her screenplay of "A Raisin in the Sun". A second television play aired in 1989 of "A Raisin in the Sun". | "A Raisin in the Sun" was not the only work of Lorraine Hansberry. She also wrote a second play, "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window". Unfortunately, this play was not nearly as successful. This play was closed on January 12, 1965. This happened to be the exact day that Lorraine Hansberry died at age 34 of cancer.
7: Other works from Lorraine Hansberry: To Be Young, Gifted, and Black: Hansberry in Her Own Words - 1971 | Les Blancs - 1970 | "A Raisin in the Sun" was named best play of the year by New York Drama Critics Circle
8: Langston Hughes
9: Langston Hughes was an extremely popular poet, writer, and playwright. He was born February 1, 1902. His love for poems started in his teenage years beginning with a passion for a few poems written by Carl Sandburg and the poems inspired him to start writing his own work although not long after, many magazines declined publishing his work. | Langston Hughes wrote his first poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" in 1921. Langston Hughes' work was primarily based on the lifestyles and customs in the 1900's which led to the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes is remembered as the voice of the Harlem Renaissance because of his poems and the meanings behind them.
10: Langston Hughes was looked up to as an African American man who made his dreams come true as a writer and gave many African Americans the same hope for themselves. | Hughes was also inspired to write a novel. His first novel was Not without Laughter in 1930. The novel was based on a young boy with two parents who believed you achieved your goals by either being a hard worker or just taking life as it comes to you. The boy was struggling between both standpoints in life. The novel was successful and the success of this novel made it clear to Langston Hughes that he was meant to be a writer to make his living.
11: Hughes also published his first book of poems, "The Weary Blues" in 1926. He wrote an essay in the same year, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain". | Langston Hughes is also credited for the lyrics to the musical Street Scene in 1947. He was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf Award in 1953. | Even after all of the denied requests of magazines, Hughes' work was finally accepted and published in Vanity Fair magazine.
12: In Time of Silver Rain In time of silver rain the earth puts forth new life again, green grasses grow and flowers lift their heads, and over all the plain the wonder spreads Of Life, Of Life, Of life! | In time of silver rain the butterflies lift silken wings to catch a rainbow cry, and trees put forth new leaves to sing in joy beneath the sky as down the roadway passing boys and girls go singing, too, in time of silver rain When spring and life are new.
13: TPCASTT: Title: The title makes me wonder if there is more meaning behind it because of the contrast between silver and rain. The title makes me wonder if the poem is about rain from weather or "blue" emotion days. Paraphrase: The plot is basically about how the rain allows new things to spring up. After a rain, there is always new flowers sprouting up and new trees. Connotations: The vivid details of what comes when it rains makes me visualize a damp forest with new flowers, trees, and rainbows sprouting up all around you. This may be a comparison to life and how good things may come out of bad days. Attitude: The speaker's attitude toward the writing is almost as if he is praising the "silver rain" for bringing new things. Shifts: When the poem shouts "Of life!" the mood changes from a dreary visualization to a thankful or happy tone. Title: The title in my opinion is showing how good things can come out of bad things even if the bad things are really bad, such as a rainy day. Theme: The overall theme to me is just to wait for the good because in every bad experience, there's a good reason behind it and a new "flower" will always spring up.
14: Dreams Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.
15: TPCASTT: Title: The title strikes me as being about the dreams in your sleep that lead to the big dreams of your life. It makes me wonder if it is literal or talking about life dreams. Paraphrase: The poem is basically about how you should always keep your dreams close because if you do not do something about them, they might die. Connotations: Personally, I believe this was a comparison to not actual dreams while you sleep but to the ones you try to reach in your life, such as a life goal for yourself. Attitude: The speaker's attitude seems depressing at first, but he is just speaking the truth about how you need to grasp your dreams and go for them. Shifts: The shift that I noticed was where he goes from talking about holding your dreams close to talking about how they can die. Title: The title is not about literal sleeping dreams as I thought at first, but it's about your life dreams and how you can't ever let them go. Theme: The overall theme that I noticed in the poem personally was that everyone needs a dream and whatever it is that you dream you need to take hold of it and do your best to make it happen.
16: MLA BIBLIOGRAPHY "Lorraine Hansberry." 2011. Comminfo.rutgers.edu. 22 May 2011, 07 :16 http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~cybers/hansberry2.html "Lorraine Hansberry." 2011. Biography.com. 22 May 2011, 07:01 http://www.biography.com/articles/Lorraine-Hansberry-9327823.
17: "Langston Hughes." 2011. Biography.com. 22 May 2011, 07:45 http://www.biography.com/articles/Langston-Hughes-9346313. "Langston Hughes." 2011. Math.Buffalo.Edu. 23 May 2011, 08:16 http://www.math.buffalo.edu/~sww/poetry/hughes_langston.html