Monday, February 14, 2011

To Be Young, Gifted and Black by Lorraine Hansberry

I actually just finished reading this for work (I'm officially on Facebook now but strictly as part of my job) and it was pretty great. When I first picked it up, I thought it was going to be more of a memoir. But rather, it is comprised of passages from Hansberry's plays, interviews, letters, etc, so that the structure is a bit less conventional. Which I think works in its favor. I underlined quite a few passages:

"I can be all filled up that day with three hundred years of rage so that my eyes are flashing and my flesh is trembling--and the white boys in the streets, they look at me and think of sex. They look at me and that's all they think. Baby, you could be Jesus in drag--but if you're brown they're sure you're selling!"

"Do I remain a revolutionary? Intellectually--without a doubt. But am I prepared to give my body to the struggle or even my comforts?...I think when I get my health back I shall go into the South to find out what kind of revolutionary I am." (Sadly, she did not get her health back, and died of cancer at the age of 34.)

There are a number of photographs, documents,

illustrations, newspaper clippings, and more dispersed throughout the book.

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