The Life and Work of a Treasured American Playwright
Documentary, dir. by Tracy Heather Strain
US, 2018, 118 mins
If the 1959 Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun changed the face of American theater forever, the life story of playwright Lorraine Hansberry is far less known. Using personal papers, archives, home videos and rare photos, the documentary sheds valuable light on the play, Hansberry’s influences, her private identity as a lesbian, and her lifetime fight against injustice at a crucial time for black civil rights. With LaTanya Richardson as narrator and Anika Noni Rose’s voice as Hansberry, it features personal memories from Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, her sister Mamie Hansberry, and excerpts from the 1961 Hollywood film.
Join us after the film for a conversation between director Tracy Heather Strain and archivist, author and documentarian Steven G. Fullwood.
Steven G. Fullwood is an archivist, documentarian, and writer. He is the former associate curator of the Manuscripts, Archives & Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 1999, he founded the In the Life Archive (ITLA), to aid in the preservation of materials produced by and about LGBTQ people of African descent. In 2018, Fullwood co-founded The Nomadic Archivists Project, an initiative to establish, preserve, and enhance collections that explore the African Diasporic experience. His most recent publication, Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call (co-edited with Charles Stephens, 2014), is a community’s response to the love and legacy of activist Joseph Beam.
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