A Raisin in the Sun, was the first play to be produced by an African American on Broadway. Lorraine Hansberry was inspired both by Langston Hughes poem A Dream Deferred and her own experiences growing up in a racially tense atmosphere on the south side of Chicago. A black woman producing a play on Broadway with an almost entirely black cast in 1959 was a very bold move, and Hansberry pulled it off to much critical acclaim. It was named the best play of the year by the New York Drama's Critics Circle, nominated for 4 Tony Awards, and became a literary classic. This play is important for so many reasons; one of which is that never before had the everyday life of African Americans been portrayed so openly and broadly for the masses, and it was something that everyone could relate to, it was not that different than what many working class white Americans struggled with - the American dream - the pursuit of life liberty and happiness. The one crucial difference being that a white person had the ability to buy property anywhere, while the black person did not...our group had a very interesting discussion about this, and how even in 2018, though we have come a long way, we are still struggling with race issues in our country.
Here is a link to a PBS documentary on Hansberry and more about her inspiration for her incredible play: www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/lorraine-hansberrys-inspiration-raisin-sun/9933/