Lorraine Hansberry: Out the Raisin Box

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Menoukha Case, SUNY
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Raisin in the Sun continues to be a primary focus in discussions of Lorraine Hansberry. Two upcoming documentaries, one by Numa Perrier and Taye Hansberry, and another by Jamila Wignot and Tracy Heather Strain, may remedy this narrow perspective in biographical terms. Out the Raisin Box intends to add a scholarly perspective to this renaissance. I welcome chapters that address additional aspects of Hansberry's ouvre as well as her effect on movements dear to her heart.

I'm especially interested in examinations of the intersections of class, race, gender, sexuality, and/or nation. I'm interested in how her location at these intersections may have allowed/hindered expression of her whole self, as in "I could use art for change, not as propaganda but to alter feelings, but to do that I had to be everything I was" (Audre Lorde). (This was addressed in a preliminary way in my chapter "Lorraine Hansberry: Writing between Rocks and Hard Places," in Black Writers and the Left, ed. Kristin Moriah.) I'm interested in sharing understanding of her as an Africanist, and as a Grand Mother of intersectional theory.

In sum, I would like to collect chapters that help move Lorraine Hansberry Out the Raisin Box, address her life and work in a more holistic manner, and position her in Black feminist theoretical lineage.