If you are looking for a new biography to explore check out Looking For Lorraine by Imani Perry. This is one that is high on my want to read list. I don't know a lot about Lorraine Hansberry, but I know enough to understand that she was an intriguing woman that I should definitely take the time to read about. Imani Perry is herself an impressive woman, so I'll be getting a two for one of stellar women by reading this one! Looking for Lorraine is the one book that I plan to have as a TBR for Nonfiction November!
Lorraine Hansberry, who died at thirty-four, was by all accounts a force of nature. Although best-known for her work A Raisin in the Sun, her short life was full of extraordinary experiences and achievements, and she had an unflinching commitment to social justice, which brought her under FBI surveillance when she was barely in her twenties. While her close friends and contemporaries, like James Baldwin and Nina Simone, have been rightly celebrated, her story has been diminished and relegated to one work--until now. In 2018, Hansberry will get the recognition she deserves with the PBS American Masters documentary "Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart" and Imani Perry's multi-dimensional, illuminating biography, Looking for Lorraine.
After the success of A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry used her prominence in myriad ways: challenging President Kennedy and his brother to take bolder stances on Civil Rights, supporting African anti-colonial leaders, and confronting the romantic racism of the Beat poets and Village hipsters. Though she married a man, she identified as lesbian and, risking censure and the prospect of being outed, joined one of the nation's first lesbian organizations. Hansberry associated with many activists, writers, and musicians, including Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, among others. Looking for Lorraine is a powerful insight into Hansberry's extraordinary life--a life that was tragically cut far too short.
About the Author
(Photo via Lorraine Hansberry Literary Trust site.)
Bio via author's Goodreads account.
Imani Perry, a professor of African American studies at Princeton, first appeared in print at age 3 in the Birmingham (Alabama) News in a photo of her and her parents at a protest against police brutality. She has published widely on topics ranging from racial inequality to hip-hop and is active across various media. She earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a bachelor's degree from Yale University.