My dear Lorraine Hansberry, you were a literary genius, and you left us too soon.
Honestly, I think about Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” every day of my life.
I see her in every Black person I see, every Black person I read about, and every Black person knows.
Lorraine Hansberry’s genius work, “A Raisin in the Sun” is profound. Somehow Lorraine managed to create the personalities, hopes, dreams, and the experience of almost every African American I’ve ever met.
I see Walter Younger and sense the desires of his soul. I see Walter in my husband, my brother, my friends, in Jay Z, and the aspirations of so many Black men I know who desire to “win” in a system designed for them to lose.
Some days, I see Momma Younger and I aspire to be as wise as she was. She knew her family, not material things, is what is important. She didn’t want whiteness; she wanted a better house without rats.
Most days, I see Beneatha Younger’s spirit in me. Her instinctual desire to be a free Black woman. Her love of Africa and her ability to channel the motherland in her soul through dance. I love Beneatha’s desire to be free and see it in Nina Simone and Beyonce. And I see and read Beneatha’s spirit in all my favorite afro-futurist Black women authors like Octavia Butler and Nnedi Okorafo. Her dilemma to be “black middle class normal (Ayesha Curry)” or “black eclectic weirdo (Solange Knowles).”
Her work is timeless and profound and one of the greatest gifts of art given to America. Her love letter to Black Americans.
So Lorriane: Thank you isn’t enough. You, and your work will never be forgotten. Thank you for capturing us. I love you.