Before you read:- This is not a great newsletter issue. I started writing it and it sounded nice. Then I left it for a day and then life happened. So I woke up to finish it today because it is March, and I really needed to get back on this newsletter. I hope your days are better than mine.
It seems that everywhere I turn, women are inspiring. Women have fought the feminist battle even before feminism was what we know it today as. And it fills with me with so much hope and joy to know that the journey gets better. Every new age we conquer battles that we thought were impossible to conquer.
I recently read the play, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Hansberry in the 1950s. It’s a story about the Youngers who each try to follow the American Dream. Mrs. Lena Younger(Mama) wants to buy a house for the family with the insurance money left when Mr. Younger died. In a de facto segregated Chicago in the 1950s, Mama not only faces the hostilities of racial segregation but also has to stand up for herself as a woman and one that is widowed for that matter.
Hansberry also tries to strengthen other female characters in her play including Beneatha, Mama’s daughter who wants to use the money to go to medical school. She is independent and stands her ground which includes dumping her boyfriend, George, who wants to stifle her dreams. However, most significantly, Hansberry brings up abortion in the play through Ruth, Mama’s daughter in law who wants to get rid of a baby who she thinks will pose extra financial burden to her family.
I find it interesting that Hansberry was bold to talk about issues that society shunned and avoided talking about. Abortion only became legal in the US in the 70s and writing activism against racial segregation in the 50s makes her a pioneer in fighting for black peoples’ rights. Hansberry’s writing was loud in a conservative world that was comfortable in the status quo. In the words of Sidney Poitier, Hansberry through her work was already “reaching into the essence of who we were, who we are, and where we came from”
Have a great week ahead!