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Racism Younger family who strive to attain fulfillment

Racism has had a place within the United States history for centuries. Even to this day, we struggle with racism and how we handle certain events involving the race of others, In “A raisin in the sun” by Lorraine Hansberry. This story takes place where African Americans being to express their fight for civil rights and the act of more educated African Americans standing up to racism. “A raisin in the sun” is about the economic and social effects of racism on members of the Younger family who strive to attain fulfillment through singular aspirations. Contemplating how they will spend a ten-thousand-dollar insurance payment it receives after its patriarch’s death, the family’s material ambitions are juxtaposed with more spiritual, mature ideals. The story takes place during an era of the rise of civil rights, the characters such as African American, Walter Lee Younger is dissatisfied by the way his life has come too. As the main provider of his family, he wants to be his own boss and have opportunities similar to White Americans, “Mama – sometimes when I’m downtown and I pass them cool-quiet-looking restaurants where them white boys are sitting back and talking ’bout things…sitting there turning deals worth millions of dollars…sometimes I see guys don’t look much older than me” – (1.2.226). Walter is a chauffeur to a white man having to open doors and drives around a man who could be seen similar to a master and slave scenario. In 1950’s society, Blacks and Whites were still separated; there usually existed no interaction between them apart from work the conditions of black people rarely changed, many government officials in the south placed Jim crow laws. These laws severely limited the interactions between Blacks and whites, as well as limiting the opportunities for the progress of Blacks. Though it was supposed by law that Blacks be provided with separate but equal facilities, in reality, it was a blatant lie that considered Blacks only as second- class citizens. Lena and Ruth are maids who work for white women and, Walter is the chauffeur of a white man. There’s no mentioned contact between younger family, a black family, and white members of society except for their work and a visit from Mr. Lindner. Mr. Linder represents the White American at the time, Linder tries to persuade the Younger family from moving into a predominantly white neighborhood, where in this era in time to discourage African Americans from integrating into White neighborhoods with threats of violence, Mrs. Johnson also refers to the bombing of Blacks and forecasts the violence towards the younger family: “You mean you ain’t read ’bout them colored people that was bombed out their place out there? … “Lord–I bet this time next month ya’ll’s names will have been in the papers plenty.” The Youngers can be representative of African Americans who would be threatened living in constant fear.    The U.S. is known to be “the land of the free” a land where if you work hard enough you can achieve your dreams, even when faced with unfair treatment, working hard to fix your position in life is possible, a struggle similar to that was the civil rights movement. “Blacks’ insistence on full civil right in their homeland America is what Hansberry masterfully supported.” During the rise of civil rights movement, Hansberry’s work on “A raisin in the sun” would help lead other into the marches of the civil rights movement, having a character like Beneatha, representing the new age of African Americans, college educated feminist who seeks to be one with her African roots. “Get over it? What are you talking about, Ruth? Listen, I’m going to be a doctor. I’m not worried about who I’m going to marry yet – if I ever get married.” (1.1.268) Beneatha’s outlook on life, her words are what Hansberry would give to the youth growing alongside with the civil rights movement. The Younger family’s financial situation was the standing of many African Americans at the time, In the turn of the century many Blacks like the younger family in search of a better life and work moved to the north to escape from discrimination and the economic oppression as a result of the deep discrimination in the south. Mama tells this experience to Walter; she mentions that at the time of immigration they were worried about not being lynched and getting to the north and if they succeed they would have to stay alive, “In my time we was worried about not being lynched and getting to the North if we could and how to stay alive and still have a pinch of dignity too…Now here come you and Beneatha – talking ’bout things we ain’t never even thought about hardly, me and your daddy. You ain’t satisfied or proud of nothing we done. I mean that you had a home; that we kept you out of trouble till you was grown; that you don’t have to ride to work on the back of nobody’s streetcar – You my children – but how different we done become. “(1.2.231). However, Many Blacks suffered from and faced house discrimination. As Leonard Dinnerstein notes, “The worst housing in the cities was reserved for the black migrants coming from the South. Owners preferred to rent to white immigrants rather than to Blacks, and the black families sometimes encountered violence when they tried to move outside their growing ghettos Hansberry was Marxist, Her plays were groundbreaking in their depth of characterization–A Raisin in the Sun, after four decades, remains supreme in the American theater in the depiction of the lives of black people–and their immersion in her social philosophy. In A Raisin in the Sun, racism is so mundane a fact of life for the impoverished Younger family that it is discussed to remarkably little degree. In “A raisin in the sun” Hansberry, among other things, calls on Africans and diasporic Blacks to develop the sense of belonging to a cohesive family.    Issues of Racism have come a long way since Hansberry’s time, segregation is no longer forced on to those who wish to learn equally alongside Whites, African Americans have been able to shine through their lines of work and stand alongside their White counterparts. Although racism has never truly gone away, one can only see Hansberry’s work and the information and life lessons within “A raisin in the sun” can we see what an impact the characters and their situations could tell us about the social and economic issues of the time, as we see that, although it is not perfect today, it is something we can learn and improve on.  

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