The first of a two-part documentary program celebrating the life of Black playwright Lorraine Hansberry (1930 - 1965). Hansberry was the author of the plays A Raisin in the Sun and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, as well as several plays unfinished in her lifetime, such as Toussaint, The Arrival of Mr. Todog, The Drinking Gourd, and What Use Are Flowers?. Heard on this program are excerpts from the large body of work she left behind at the time of her death - plays, poetry, autobiography and criticism - recited by many of her contemporaries in the American theater, along with tapes of interviews with Hansberry herself. Broadcast in two parts, this episode features readings of some of her personal correspondence, diary entries, and numerous scenes from A Raisin in the Sun. Narrated by Ossie Davis. Produced by Theodore Rubin for WBAI, with assistance by Sid Presberg. Material selection, direction and continuity by Robert Nemiroff.
In addition to Hansberry, this program features the following voices: Part 1: Paul Robeson, Teresa Wright, Anne Bancroft, Melvyn Douglas, Geraldine Page, Roscoe Lee Browne, Julie Harris, Rod Steiger, Maureen Stapleton, Cicely Tyson, E.G. Marshall, Rosemary Harris, Colleen Dewhurst, Howard Da Silva, Leslie Rivers, Claire Bloom, Angela Lansbury, June Havoc; Part 2: Al Freeman, Jr., Barbara Ann Teer, Gloria Foster, Rosemary Harris, Julie Harris, Lauren Bacall, Uta Hagen, E.G. Marshall, Anne Bancroft, James Earl Jones, Teresa Wright, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Maureen Stapleton, Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones, Frances Foster, Harold Scott; Part 3: Diana Sands, Louise Stubbs, Claudia McNeil, James Earl Jones, Roscoe Lee Browne, Morris Carnovsky, Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil (from the soundtrack of the motion picture version of A Raisin in the Sun), Harold Scott, Frances Foster, James Spruill, Ruby Dee, Rosetta LeNoire, Douglas Turner Ward, Cicely Tyson, Howland Chamberlain, Rosemary Murphy, Rosemary Harris, Godfrey Cambridge.