Lorraine Hansberry died of pancreatic cancer on 12 January 1965 aged 34.

Hansberry inspired the song by Nina Simone entitled “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”.

In 1951, she joined the staff of the black journal Freedom Newspaper published by Paul Robeson.

She worked on not only the US civil rights movement, but also global struggles against colonialism and imperialism. Hansberry wrote in support of the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, criticising the mainstream press for its biased coverage.

Opening on March 11, 1959, A Raisin in the Sun became the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway.

According to historian Fanon Che Wilkins, “Hansberry believed that gaining civil rights in the United States and obtaining independence in colonial Africa were two sides of the same coin that presented similar challenges for Africans on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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