Lorraine Hansberry's Gay Politics

Why the 'Raisin in the Sun' playwright's homosexual ties have been straight-washed from black history.

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These ideas were way ahead of their time. Hansberry’s evolving politics were groundbreaking, and many questions remain about how they impacted her work—both plays she wrote after Raisin included gay characters—and how her ideas impacted the budding movement for sexual freedom she joined in the 1950s. In ignoring these questions, we’ve limited our understanding of Hansberry, and we’re all poorer for it.

Kai Wright is a senior writer for The Root.

Also on The Root:

Henry Louis Gates Jr. remembers black America's first mortgage crisis and Brian Gilmore examines the housing discrimination case behind 'A Raisin in the Sun.'

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