|Lorraine Hansberry at Sardi's Restaurant, opening night of A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway, 1959|
This past weekend was completely inspirational for me. Within 24 hours I traveled to one of my favorite cities in the U.S., San Fransisco, I witnessed major goals being met despite of... and challenges fought in light of .... Oh and a 20,000 plus Nike women's marathon.
Okay I know you are all saying huh?
Allow me to explain.
Every October for the last 6 years I have traveled to San Fransisco to participate in a fundraiser gala for the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. For obvious reasons this theater is monumentally dear to my heart. In the last year the theater sadly lost both it's founders and directors within months of one another. How would this theater survive??
With the generosity of people!!! That's how!!.. The fund raiser while always fun was super important this year. To stay a float the theater needed to raise $40 thousand dollars. We came. We ate. We mingled. We laughed...and then the moment of truth. Would the $40,000 goal be met? As the auction commenced the first bids were submitted, then the second, and third. By the end of it all the AMAZING people of the Bay Area raised $75,600 dollars. Almost twice as much that was needed to stay afloat.
Then I got to thinking about Lorraine. A woman who I never had the chance to meet. My grandmothers baby sister. A woman who by the time of her death at age 34 had written award winning plays, countless speeches, contributed to several magazines, and touched a generation of people for decades to come. At just 29 years old Lorraine Hansberry was the first African American woman to ever have a play on Broadway (A Raisin in the Sun).. and it didn't stop there.. Let me put it all into perspective..
1. Youngest American to win the New York Drama critics Circle award (this is a serious deal folks)
2. First Black woman to have a play on Broadway.
3. 5th woman to ever win the New York Drama critics Circle Award.
..and less than 5 years after her first play debuted to Broadway .. The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window ran on Broadway for 110 performances.
If that does not inspire you ..I don't know what will..
With all that said.. I would encourage everyone to support the Lorraine Hansberry Theater and all theaters across the country.. GO SEE A PLAY!! There is nothing like watching an actor live in the moment on the stage...
The Lorriane Hansberry Theater.. I "Like"
P.S. This is my favorite photo Of Lorraine..She is beaming light and beauty. I often wish I could be a fly on the wall that night!
Lorraine Hansberry Theaterhttp://www.lhtsf.org/
Photo: Unfortunately I have no idea who took this photo..I would like to give credit so if you know please email me..