Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University

  • The birth of carl Augustus Hansberry, Sr.

    Lorraine Hansberry’s father, Carl Augustus Hansberry, Sr., is born in Gloster, Mississippi

  • The birth of Nannie louise perry

    Lorraine Hansberry’s mother, Nannie Louise Perry, is born in Columbia, Tennessee

  • Dahomey opens on broadway

    In Dahomey, the first Broadway musical written by an African American, opens

  • NAACP founded

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded

  • attended Alcorn A&M college

    Carl Augustus Hansberry attends Alcorn A&M College

  • Attending university

    Nannie Louise Perry attends Tennessee State University

  • The great migration

    Great Migration of African Americans from the South to Northern cities begins. Carl Augustus Hansberry and Nannie Louise Perry take part

  • Chicago Urban League founded

    Chicago Urban League is founded to help migrants adjust to city life

  • The meeting

    Carl Augustus Hansberry meets Nannie Louise Perry working at Binga National Bank, the first Black bank in Chicago

  • Marriage

    Carl Augustus Hansberry and Nannie Louise Perry marry

  • Dr. Lewis Johnston and his three brothers are lynched

    Lorraine Hansberry’s uncle, Dr. Lewis Harrison Johnston, and his three brothers are lynched by a white mob in Elaine, Arkansas

  • The birth of carl augustus hansberry, jr.

    Lorraine Hansberry’s brother, Carl Augustus Hansberry, Jr., is born

  • The birth of perry hansberry

    Lorraine Hansberry’s brother, Perry Hansberry, is born

  • The chip woman’s fortune opens on broadway

    Willis Richardson’s The Chip Woman’s Fortune, a one-act play and the first non-musical by a Black playwright on Broadway, opens

  • The birth of mamie hansberry

    Lorraine Hansberry’s sister, Mamie Hansberry, is born

  • the birth of james baldwin

    Writer James Baldwin is born in Harlem

  • Appearances opens on broadway

    Garland Anderson’s Appearances, the first full-length, non-musical by a Black playwright on Broadway, opens

  • The birth of malcolm x

    Malcolm X is born in Omaha, Nebraska as Malcolm Little

  • Start of the great depression

    United States stock market crashes, signaling the start of The Great Depression

  • The birth of Robert Nemiroff

    Lorraine Hansberry’s future husband, Robert Barron Nemiroff, is born

  • The birth of Lorraine Hansberry

    Lorraine Vivian Hansberry is born

  • Mulatto opens on Broadway

    Langston Hughes’s Mulatto, the longest-running, non-musical play by a Black playwright, opens on Broadway at the Vanderbilt Theater

  • defiance of a restrictive covenant

    Carl Augustus Hansberry, Sr. moves his family to a home in the Woodlawn neighborhood’s all-white Washington Park subdivision in defiance of a restrictive covenant

  • HUAC established

    U.S. Congress establishes House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)

  • Unsuccessful run for congress

    Carl Augustus Hansberry, Sr. runs unsuccessfully for Congress as a Republican

  • Hansberry v. Lee

    U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Carl Augustus Hansberry, Sr. in the case of Hansberry v. Lee. Although the decision enables the Hansberry’s to remain in their home in Woodlawn and opens new homes to African Americans in Chicago, restrictive covenants remain legal

  • Under fbi surveillance

    Paul Robeson is placed under FBI surveillance

  • Attack on Pearl Harbor

    The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. The United States enters World War II

  • CORE founded

    Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), an interracial organization with the goal of obtaining racial equality in America through nonviolent resistance, founded in Chicago

  • Willie McGee arrested

    Willie McGee, a married, African American, father of four, is arrested for the rape of Wilmetta Hawkins, a white woman

  • Senator Joseph McCarthy

    Joseph McCarthy is elected to U.S. Senate

  • The Passing of Carl Augustus Hansberry, Sr.

    Carl Augustus Hansberry, Sr. dies suddenly in Mexico of a cerebral hemorrhage while planning to move his family there

  • First round to HUAC hearings

    HUAC begins first round of hearings

  • Enrolls at University of Wisconsin

    Lorraine Hansberry enrolls at the University of Wisconsin

  • The inspirational spark

    Lorraine Hansberry attends a performance of Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock at the University of Wisconsin, inspiring her to become involved in theater

  • Shelley v. Kraemer

    U.S. Supreme Court abolishes restrictive covenants nationwide with the Shelley v. Kraemer decision

  • Participation in Henry Wallace’s campaign

    Lorraine Hansberry participates in the Henry Wallace campaign. Wallace runs as a Progressive Party candidate for president

  • Executive Order 9981

    President Harry Truman ends racial segregation in the U.S. military with Executive Order 9981

  • the communist party

    Lorraine Hansberry joins the Communist Party

  • Henry Wallace’s loss

    Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace loses his run for president to incumbent President Harry S. Truman

  • first successful nuclear weapon test

    The Soviet Union has its first successful nuclear weapon test

  • People’s Republic of China formed

    Mao Zedong forms the People’s Republic of China

  • Arrival triggers a riot

    Paul Robeson’s arrival in Peekskill, NY for a concert triggers a riot

  • Departure from University of Wisconsin

    Lorraine Hansberry leaves the University of Wisconsin to pursue “an education of another kind”

  • Passport renewal denied

    Paul Robeson’s attempt to renew his passport is denied by the State Department

  • Sindey Poitier’s first leading role

    Sidney Poitier stars in No Way Out, his first leading role

  • Mattachine Society Founded

    Mattachine Society, one of the first gay rights organizations, is founded in Los Angeles

  • Move to NYC

    Lorraine Hansberry moves to New York City

  • Flag from a Kitchenette Window published

    Lorraine Hansberry’s poem “Flag from a Kitchenette Window,” is published in Masses & Mainstream, an American Marxist monthly

  • Freedom newspaper founding

    Paul Robeson founds Freedom newspaper in Harlem, publishing an “introductory issue” with the editor Louis Burnham. Lorraine Hansberry works for the paper as a “subscription clerk, receptionist, typist, and editorial assistant”

  • Robert receives his BA from NYU

    Robert Nemiroff receives his Bachelor of Arts degree from NYU

  • Second round of HUAC hearings

    House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) holds its second round of hearings

  • First issue of Freedom

    First issue of Freedom is published

  • Petition for a stay of execution

    Lorraine Hansberry travels to Mississippi with a delegation of women to petition the Governor for a stay of execution for Willie McGee

  • Execution of Willie McGee

    Willie McGee is executed after protests on his behalf and several stays of execution

  • Lynchsong is published

    Lorraine’s poem about Willie McGee’s execution, “Lynchsong,” is published in Masses & Mainstream

  • Roosevelt Ward arrested

    Roosevelt Ward, Lorraine Hansberry’s friend from the Labor Youth League, is arrested for draft evasion

  • The Sojourners for Truth

    Lorraine Hansberry joins The Sojourners for Truth, a delegation of 132 Black women seeking an end to war and racial discrimination, in Washington, DC

  • Homosexuality labeled a mental disorder

    American Psychiatric Association adds homosexuality to its list of mental disorders

  • Mau Mau uprising in Kenya

    Mau Mau Uprising takes place in Kenya. Lorraine Hansberry will later portray these events in her unfinished play Les Blancs

  • Becomes associate editor

    Lorraine Hansberry becomes associate editor of Freedom after eight months

  • Lifelong surveillance by FBI begins

    Lorraine Hansberry travels to Montevideo, Uruguay to speak on behalf of Paul Robeson at the Intercontinental Peace Conference. Her passport is revoked upon her return to the U.S. and the FBI begins lifelong surveillance of her

  • The meeting

    Lorraine Hansberry meets Robert Nemiroff

  • President Eisenhower

    Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected president

  • Focus on creative writing

    Lorraine Hansberry resigns from full time work at Freedom to focus on creative writing

  • The second sex is published

    Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex is published in the U.S.

  • Debut of Diana Sands

    Diana Sands makes her debut as Juliet in the off-Broadway production of An Evening With Will Shakespeare

  • ONE Magazine begins publication

    Mattachine Society beings publishing ONE Magazine, a monthly periodical for homosexuals

  • Claudia McNeil broadway debut

    Claudia McNeil makes her Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

  • Joining protestors

    Lorraine Hansberry and Robert Nemiroff join protesters against the execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, convicted for treason for selling nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union

  • Lorraine Hansberry marries

    Lorraine Hansberry marries Robert Nemiroff in her mother’s home in Chicago

  • Broadway debut for Louis Gossett, Jr.

    Louis Gossett, Jr. makes his Broadway debut in Take a Giant Step as Spencer Scott

  • Brown v. Board of Education Ruling

    United States Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Board of Education, that “separate but equal” doctrine regarding school segregation is unconstitutional

  • NAACP’s first field secretary for Mississippi

    Medgar Evers is named the NAACP’s first field secretary for Mississippi

  • Best Actress Academy Award Nomination

    Dorothy Dandridge becomes the first Black woman nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Carmen Jones

  • Publication ends for Freedom newspaper

    Freedom newspaper ends publication

  • The lynching of Emmet Till

    14 year old Emmett Till is lynched by white men in Mississippi for flirting with a white, female store clerk

  • First issue

    Village Voice begins publication

  • The founding of Daughters of Bilitis

    Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), a lesbian organization, is founded in San Francisco

  • Rosa Parks arrested

    Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger, sparking the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott

  • Focus on writing

    Lorraine Hansberry is able to quit her part-time work and focus on writing after the songwriting success of her husband and his college friend Burt D’Lugoff. “Cindy, Oh Cindy,” written using pseudonyms, is released by Vince Martin and the Tarriers and Eddie Fisher

  • Separation

    Lorraine Hansberry and Robert Nemiroff secretly separate

  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference formed

    Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles K. Steele and Fred L. Shuttlesworth form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization dedicated to nonviolent resistance and founded to coordinate the actions of protest groups throughout the South

  • The play’s first draft

    Lorraine Hansberry holds a dinner party with Phil Rose and Burt D’Lugoff to read her first draft of the play that became A Raisin in the Sun. Phil Rose wants to produce it and options the play for $500. Rose gets his friend Sidney Poitier to sign onto Hansberry’s play, and Poitier, in turn, recommends Lloyd Richards as its director

  • The ladder’s first issue

    The first issue of The Ladder is published by the Daughters of Bilitis

  • Student integration

    Nine Black students integrate Little Rock High School

  • Civil Rights Act of 1957 Signed

    President Eisenhower signs Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law

  • The Budget is penned

    Lorraine Hansberry writes a short story called “The Budget” for ONE Magazine under the pseudonym Emily Jones

  • Short story penned for the ladder

    Lorraine Hansberry writes a short story called “Chanson du Konallis” for The Ladder under the pseudonym Emily Jones

  • Auditions begin

    Nearly 1,000 Black actors show up for auditions for A Raisin in the Sun

  • Two short stories penned for ONE magazine

    Lorraine Hansberry writes two short stories – “The Anticipation of Eve” and “Renascence” – for ONE Magazine under the pseudonym Emily Jones

  • First public appearance

    A Raisin in the Sun has its first public performance at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, Connecticut as part of a four-night tryout

  • Two-week tryout at Walnut Theatre

    A Raisin in the Sun begins a two-week tryout run at the Walnut Theatre in Philadelphia, PA. Writer James Baldwin attends a performance, later writing about witnessing theater history. The FBI sends an agent to assess the play for Communist influences

  • Final tryout at Blackstone Theater

    A Raisin in the Sun its final tryout, a four-week run at the Blackstone Theater in Chicago, IL

  • Academy award nomination

    Sidney Poitier is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in The Defiant Ones

  • Delivers keynote speech

    Lorraine Hansberry gives the keynote speech titled “The Negro Writer and His Roots” at the American Society of African Culture (AMSAC) Negro Writers Conference at the Henry Hudson Hotel in New York

  • Broadway premiere

    Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun premieres on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater

  • New York Drama Critics Circle Award

    Lorraine Hansberry wins the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for her play A Raisin in the Sun

  • Photographed for Vogue

    David Attie photographs Lorraine Hansberry in her Bleecker Street apartment for Vogue

  • Roundtable discussion on Open End tv show

    Lorraine Hansberry and Lloyd Richards are among the guests at a roundtable discussion on the state of Broadway on David Susskind’s Open End television show

  • Appearance on Look Up and Live

    Lorraine Hansberry’s television appearance on the public affairs program Look Up and Live is broadcast

  • Interview by Mike Wallace

    Mike Wallace interviews Lorraine Hansberry, but the interview never airs

  • Interview by Stud Terkel

    Lorraine Hansberry is interviewed by Studs Terkel for his radio show in Chicago

  • Lecture at Roosevelt University

    Lorraine Hansberry gives a lecture about American drama at Roosevelt University in Chicago for the school’s Women’s Scholarship Association

  • Appearance on At Random

    Lorraine Hansberry and film director Otto Preminger appear on At Random, Irv Kupcinet’s local weekly television conversation on Chicago’s WBBM. The conversation becomes heated as Hansberry describes Preminger’s film Porgy and Bess as “bad art” for its depiction of racial stereotypes

  • A raising in the sun published

    Random House publishes A Raisin in the Sun

  • the drinking gourd

    Lorraine completes her teleplay The Drinking Gourd, for an NBC series commemorating the centennial of the Civil War. The series is cancelled before production begins due to lack of interest from funders

  • Screenplay complete

    Lorraine Hansberry completes the screenplay for A Raisin in the Sun

  • Ossie Davis comes in as Walter Lee Younger

    Ossie Davis replaces Sidney Poitier as Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun. Poitier starred in 198 performances

  • Play moves to Belasco Theater

    A Raisin in the Sun moves to the Belasco Theater

  • Lorraine Hansberry purchases a home in greenwich village

    Lorraine Hansberry uses money from the success of A Raisin in the Sun to purchase a home at 112 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village, where Burt D’Lugoff and Hansberry’s on-again off-again partner Dorothy Secules live

  • Sit-ins at Woolworth Store lunch

    Black students (The Greensboro Four) hold sit-ins at Woolworth Store lunch in Greensboro, North Carolina

  • The Passing of Louis E. Burnham

    Former Freedom editor Louis E. Burnham dies at age 45 of a heart attack

  • Appearance on the The Mitch Miller Show

    Lorraine Hansberry appears on the The Mitch Miller Show on WCBS radio

  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee is founded

    Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded at Shaw University to provide young African Americans a place within the Civil Rights Movement

  • A Raisin in the Sun ends on Broadway

    A Raisin in the Sun ends its Broadway run after 530 performances

  • JFK elected president

    John F. Kennedy is elected president

  • A Raisin in the Sun premieres at the Cannes Film Festival

    The film version of A Raisin in the Sun premieres at the Cannes Film Festival and wins the Gary Cooper Award for Human Values

  • The Freedom Ride begins

    The Freedom Rides begin in order to test the new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel

  • Toussaint is performed on Playwright at Work

    Lorraine Hansberry and Lloyd Richards discuss their work, and a scene of Hansberry’s work-in-progress, Toussaint is performed on Playwright at Work, a television series hosted by Frank Perry

  • Columbia Pictures releases a raisin in the sun

    The film version of A Raisin in the Sun is released by Columbia Pictures in the U.S.

  • Lorraine Hansberry Interviewed on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

    Lorraine Hansberry is interviewed by Eleanor Fisher for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

  • Lorraine Hansberry interviewed on WNYC

    An interview of Lorraine Hansberry by Patricia Marx is broadcast on WNYC

  • Lorraine Hansberry moves to NY

    Lorraine Hansberry moves to Croton-on-Hudson, NY

  • Lorraine Hansberry delivers “my government is wrong” speech

    Lorraine Hansberry speaks at an anti-HUAC rally, delivering her “My Government is Wrong” speech

  • Alabama Governor George Wallace’s inaugural address

    Alabama Governor George Wallace delivers his inaugural address in which he says, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever”

  • Lorraine hansberry diagnosed with cancer

    Lorraine Hansberry has an attack and collapses in pain. She is subsequently hospitalized for 10 days, during which time doctors diagnose her with cancer. Hansberry is told she has anemia and bleeding ulcers

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. arrested

    Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested and jailed in Birmingham and begins writing “Letters from a Birmingham Jail”

  • The Children’s Crusade demonstration

    Birmingham authorities use dogs and high-pressure fire hoses to repel demonstrators, many of whom were school-aged children taking part in the Children’s Crusade. The Children’s Crusade was a campaign, organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), to use young people trained in nonviolent tactics to bring about the end of segregation in Birmingham. These children were also arrested by the hundreds between May 2 and 10

  • A.G. Gaston Motel and King’s brother’s home bombed

    A.G. Gaston Motel, where Martin Luther King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy were staying, and King’s brother’s home in Birmingham are bombed, sparking a riot

  • Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy meets to discuss racial tensions

    A meeting between Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and a handful of civil rights activists, entertainers and artists, including Lorraine Hansberry, to discuss racial tensions is held at the Kennedy’s Manhattan apartment

  • Sit-in at Woolworth’s lunch counter

    Under the direction of Medgar Evers, Pearlena Lewis, Memphis Norman, and others sit-in at Woolworth’s lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi and face violent backlash

  • Publicizing upcoming student nonviolent coordinating committee benefit concert

    Lorraine Hansberry, Nina Simone and several other influential people attend a press conference at the home of actor and activist Theodore Bikel in order to publicize the upcoming Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) benefit concert at Carnegie Hall

  • Alabama Governor George Wallace attempts to block integration

    Alabama Governor George Wallace personally attempts to block Vivian Malone and James A. Hood from integrating the University of Alabama. In an address, President John F. Kennedy calls civil rights a “moral issue”

  • Medgar Evers is Assassinated

    Medgar Evers, NAACP field secretary for Mississippi, is assassinated in his driveway hours after President Kennedy’s address

  • Lorraine Hansberry chairs a fundraiser

    Lorraine Hansberry chairs a fundraiser in Croton-on-Hudson to raise money for civil rights organizations’ work in the south. The event raises $5,000, some of which goes towards purchasing the Ford station wagon driven by Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney the following summer

  • A Benefit concert for Student Nonviolent coordinating committee

    Lorraine Hansberry and a group of celebrities sponsor a benefit concert for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), starring Mahalia Jackson and the Freedom Singers at Carnegie Hall

  • An unsuccessful operation

    Lorraine Hansberry has an unsuccessful operation in New York

  • Lorraine Hansberry undergoes surgery

    Lorraine Hansberry undergoes surgery at the Lahey Clinic at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts

  • The Passing of W.E.B DuBois

    W.E.B. DuBois dies in Ghana

  • The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

    March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom brings over 200,000 to Washington, DC. The event is best known for King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”. Lorraine Hansberry is unable to attend as she is recovering from surgery at her home in Croton-on-Hudson

  • Four young girls killed by KKK members

    Four young girls are killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church by KKK members

  • President JFK Assassinated

    President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in later that day

  • The Movement: Documentary of a Struggle for Equality is published

    The Movement: Documentary of a Struggle for Equality, a fundraising book for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), comprised of photos with commentary by Lorraine Hansberry, is published by Simon & Schuster

  • Robert Nemiroff Divorces Lorraine Hansberry

    Robert Nemiroff obtains a divorce from Lorraine Hansberry in Mexico

  • Sidney Poitier wins an Oscar

    Sidney Poitier becomes the first Black person to win an Oscar for best actor for his role in Lilies of the Field

  • Freedom Summer launches

    Freedom Summer, a voter registration campaign in Mississippi, launches with hundreds of volunteers from across the country

  • Lorraine Hansberry delivers a speech to winners of a writing contest

    Lorraine Hansberry, released from the hospital for the afternoon, delivers what becomes known as the “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” speech to winners of a writing contest sponsored by the United Negro College Fund

  • Lorraine Hansberry leaves her sickbed to argue for a militant commitment to Black causes

    Lorraine Hansberry leaves her sickbed to argue for a militant commitment to Black causes as a participant in “The Black Revolution and the White Backlash,” a Town Hall debate between Black artists and white liberals. The event is sponsored by the Association of Artists for Freedom, of which Lorraine is a member

  • Freedom Summer civil rights works go missing

    Freedom Summer civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner go missing in Mississippi. The three are last seen in the Ford station wagon purchased with proceeds from Hansberry’s fundraiser

  • Burned ford station wagon discovered

    The Ford station wagon, purchased with proceeds from Lorraine Hansberry’s fundraiser and driven by Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, is discovered, burned, in a swampy area near Philadelphia, Mississippi

  • The Signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • Federal Investigators discover 3 bodies

    The bodies of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner are discovered by federal investigators in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi

  • Robert Nemiroff named literary executor

    Lorraine Hansberry names Robert Nemiroff literary executor of her will

  • Lorraine Hansberry moves to Hotel Victoria

    Lorraine Hansberry moves to the Hotel Victoria on Seventh Avenue to be near rehearsals of her second Broadway play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window

  • The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window opens at the Longacre Theatre

    The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window opens at the Longacre Theatre, co-produced by Robert Nemiroff and Burt D’Lugoff and directed by Peter Kass. Lorraine Hansberry attends opening night

  • The cancer affects Lorraine Hansberry’s body

    Lorraine Hansberry loses her sight, has convulsions and lapses into a coma as her brain is affected by the cancer. Two days later she regains sight and some movement

  • Lorraine Hansberry Critically Ill

    Newspapers in New York and Chicago publish that Lorraine Hansberry is critically ill

  • A Midnight Strategy Meeting

    Prompted by Robert Nemiroff, Mel Brooks and wife Anne Bancroft open up their home for a midnight strategy meeting to keep The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, which was struggling at the box office, open. The unusual celebrity campaign makes the play the longest-running show of that season

  • The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window at Henry Miller Theatre

    The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window moves from the Longacre Theatre to the Henry Miller Theatre

  • Lorraine Hansberry dies of cancer

    Lorraine Hansberry dies of cancer of the duodenum at the age of 34 at University Hospital. The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window closes

  • Memorial Service for Lorraine Hansberry

    Lorraine Hansberry’s memorial service is held at the Church of the Master in Harlem. Over 600 people attend despite a huge blizzard, including Malcolm X, Ossie Davis, Diana Sands and Sammy Davis, Jr. Ruby Dee and Shelley Winters speak. Paul Robeson delivers the eulogy. Nina Simone performs. And a telegram from Martin Luther King, Jr. is read. James Baldwin, although not able to attend, sends his condolences to Robert Nemiroff and the Hansberry family, saying, “I think we must resolve not to fail her, for she certainly did not fail us.” Lorraine Hansberry is buried in Croton-on-Hudson at Bethel Cemetery

  • Malcom X Assassinated

    Malcolm X is assassinated

  • Voting Rights Act Signed

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act

  • To Be Young, Gifted and Black Opens at Cherry Lane Theatre

    To Be Young, Gifted and Black, a play about the life of Lorraine Hansberry using her own words, compiled by Robert Nemiroff, is first performed off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated

    Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated

  • Nina Simone Performs To Be Young, Gifted and Black

    Nina Simone performs “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” for the first time at a Morgan State College jazz festival. The song is inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s words

  • Les Blancs opens at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre

    Les Blancs, an unfinished play by Lorraine Hansberry about colonialism set in Africa and edited by Robert Nemiroff, opens at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre. It runs for one month and has 40 performances

  • Les Blancs

    Robert Nemiroff edits and publishes Les Blancs

  • To Be Young, Gifted and Black

    Robert Nemiroff edits and publishes To Be Young, Gifted and Black

  • Queer Signifier

    Lorraine is publicly identified as a queer signifier when Barbara Grier, former editor of the lesbian periodical The Ladder, names her as the author of two 1957 letters to the publication

  • The Passing of Paul Robeson

    Paul Robeson dies of a stroke

  • The Passing of James Baldwin

    James Baldwin dies of cancer

  • PBS Premiere

    PBS premieres A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Bill Duke and produced by Chiz Schultz for American Playhouse. Danny Glover and Esther Rolle star in the television film

  • The Passing of Robert Nemiroff

    Robert Nemiroff dies of cancer

  • On Broadway

    A revival of A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Kenny Leon, opens on Broadway at the Royale Theatre. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald and Sanaa Lathan star. The cast reprise their roles for the 2008 ABC television movie

  • Ethel Barrymore Theatre

    A revival of A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Kenny Leon, opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre for the play’s 50th anniversary. Denzel Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Sophie Okonedo and Anika Noni Rose star