LORRAINE HANSBERRY PROMISED BANQUET
THE COLLECTED LAST PLAYS (1972–1994)
BUT FIRST, RAISIN IN THE SUN (BILINGUAL)
Robert Nemiroff collected three plays, two dealing with the Black Curse in America: Les Blancs and the brutal European colonization of Africa, and we know the end of it; The Drinking Gourd and the curse of slavery for both the slaves and the slaveowners at the beginning of the Civil War, and we know the end of it; What Use Are Flowers and the curse of humanity before, during and after a nuclear cataclysm, or should we call it a nuclear Holocaust? And we know the end of it.
Right now there is like a revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s plays in the USA, on Broadway particularly. The fourth play on this curse of the Blacks in America or elsewhere in the world, and the curse of humanity under the mismanagement of the Western Whites, is the M.L.Kingian dream of the Black hard-working working-class being able to move from the ghetto to a white neighborhood is not included. It is A Raisin in the Sun, and that dream could only be a dream in 1959. No way, in this direction, desegregating neighborhoods.
The US Supreme Court has just gotten rid of “Affirmative Action” for the selection and registration of students at the college level, making the desegregation of colleges and universities in the USA go one important backward step to more segregation instead of less. You can imagine in 1959: the black family who would move into a white neighborhood would be at least expelled with some violence, or simply lynched on the main square of this neighborhood and hanged from the branches of some majestic tree there.
It is interesting to go back to this author and her plays, but we have to keep in mind that what was possible on Broadway, to be the first black female author of a play performed there, does not reflect what was, and still is, happening in the US society, but only the very slow evolution toward some justice. But Dunn High School, Dunn, North Carolina, was only desegregated in September 1969, and hence it brought together students of different colors and their teachers. I know about it because I was there then. But the High School has been pulled down in the…