The first major reading we're going to do this year is the award-winning play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. However, before we read, it's important to have a good understanding of the issues surrounding the play as well as the time period in which it was written. Set on the South side of Chicago, A Raisin in the Sun is about an African American family who comes into a large sum of money due to unfortunate circumstances. Despite the major improvements the money can do for the family, the family isn't in agreement on what to do with it. Continue on with this Webquest to learn about the play's and author's background.
In a series of six tasks you will explore historical background information, themes depicted in the play and the author's biographical information.
Task 1: Lorranine Hansberry
1) Identify what might have inspired her to write A Raisin in the Sun.
2) List three civil rights events that Lorraine (or the Hansberry family) was involved with.
1) In your own words, what are restrictive covenants?
2) How have they been used in segregation?
Task 3: Homage to Langston Huges
- Where was he born?
- Which part of New York did Hughes spend most of his life in?
- What forms of music influenced Hughes’s work?
- Hughes was the first African American author to do what?
- Who did Hughes write for (who was his audience)
Task 4: Jim Crow
1) Who/what was Jim Crow? Why was he created?
2) 3 examples of Jim Crow laws
Task 5: Civil Rights Timeline
Explain (in one sentence) what major events took place during these years/dates during the Civil Rights Movement.
- 1955 (Aug)
- 1955 (Dec. 1)
- 1957 (Sept)
- 1960 (feb. 1)
- 1963 (Aug. 28)
- 1964 (July 2)
- 1967 (June 12)
- 1968 (April 4)
Task 6: Facts About the Play
1) What genre is this written?
2) What time and place was it written?