Hansberry, Lorraine, 1930–65, American playwright, b. Chicago. She grew up on Chicago's South Side. In 1959 she became the first black woman to have a play produced on Broadway when A Raisin in the Sun opened to wide critical acclaim. The play dealt in human terms with the serious and comic problems of a black family in modern America. Her next play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (1964) was less successful. Hansberry died of cancer at 35. A collection of her writings, To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, was published in 1969.
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