Radical Vision A Biography of Lorraine Hansberry Soyica Diggs Colbert

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
22 Jun 2021
ISBN:
9780300245707
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
288 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
19 b-w illus.
Sales territories:
World

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A captivating portrait of Lorraine Hansberry’s life, art, and political activism--one of O Magazine's best books of April 2021

"Hits the mark as a fresh and timely portrait of an influential playwright."—Publishers Weekly

In this biography of Lorraine Hansberry (1930–1965), the author of A Raisin in the Sun, Soyica Diggs Colbert considers the playwright’s life at the intersection of art and politics, with the theater operating as a “rehearsal room for [her] political and intellectual work.”
 
Colbert argues that the success of Raisin overshadows Hansberry’s other contributions, including the writer’s innovative journalism and lesser known plays touching on controversial issues such as slavery, interracial communities, and black freedom movements. Colbert also details Hansberry’s unique involvement in the black freedom struggles during the Cold War and the early civil rights movement, in order to paint a full portrait of her life and impact.
 
Drawing from Hansberry’s papers, speeches, and interviews, this book presents its subject as both a playwright and a political activist. It also reveals a new perspective on the roles of black women in mid-twentieth-century political movements.

Soyica Diggs Colbert is the interim dean of faculty and Idol Family Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University. She lives in Washington, DC.

“Colbert makes the study of Hansberry’s literary work inseparable from her lived experience of complicating identity categories. This exquisite biography of Hansberry is groundbreaking.”—Margo Natalie Crawford, University of Pennsylvania

“Colbert offers a luminous, Black feminist study of the life of the mind of one of our most formidable cultural intellectuals. Combining dazzling archival research with rigorous and expansive close-readings of rare documents and Hansberry’s rich range of dramatic works, Radical Vision attests to the fact that the world of the Black woman artist is ‘a story of ideas’ urgently in need of telling.”—Daphne A. Brooks, author of Liner Notes for the Revolution

“A rich narrative that takes readers on a journey through Hansberry’s intellectual life, as she reckons with some of the most difficult aesthetic and political problems of her time—and ours.”—Paige A. McGinley, Washington University in St. Louis