This Day in History

May 19, 1930: Lorraine Hansberry Born

Time Periods: 1920
Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity, Women's History

One cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know or react to the miseries which afflict this world.

Lorraine Hansberry, born on May 19, 1930, author of the classic play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” and political speeches, letters, and essays. The documentary Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart reveals Hansberry’s dedicated activism in the Civil Rights Movement, joining and influencing friends such as James Baldwin and Nina Simone. Learn more from the film from California Newsreel.


Hansberry addressing the 81 students who came to the U.S. on an airlift from East Africa at an orientation. Source: Cora Weiss.