Explore

Our friends at Seattle Public Library put together a reading list just for our production, with plenty of titles to feed your interest before and after the show.

To view a full annotated list and place holds on items visit
Seattle Public Library’s website.

Books

A Raisin in the Sun
by Hansberry, Lorraine

The script of A RAISIN IN THE SUN, for your reading pleasure.

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
by Hughes, Langston

Hansberry took the title of her play from a line in “Harlem,” one of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes’ most famous works. (Re)discover his poetry in this comprehensive collection.

Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Hurston, Zora Neale

While A RAISIN IN THE SUN follows an African American family confronting racial segregation and discrimination in a white world, Hurston’s novel foregrounds the self-discovery of its black female protagonist Janie as she learns about love, self-reliance and the bravery it takes to defy the expectations of her own community and society.

Black Broadway
African Americans on the Great White Way

by Lane, Stewart F.

A RAISIN IN THE SUN was the first Broadway play written by a black woman and directed by a black man. Learn more about its history and other milestones in African American theater in this oversize, lavishly illustrated volume.

Passing
Larsen, Nella

Like Hansberry, Harlem Renaissance author Nella Larsen detailed the psychological toll of racism on African American characters in her work. In PASSING, a nuanced exploration of racial politics and the risk of defiance, an upper middle-class woman reconnects with a lighter-skinned friend who has left the black community to pass as white.

The South Side
A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation

by Moore, Natalie Y.

If you think the racial segregation and discrimination depicted in A RAISIN IN THE SUN is long past, think again. Moore, a journalist who grew up in a black South Side Chicago neighborhood, examines the negatives effects of decades of institutionalized racism and segregation in her community.

To Be Young, Gifted, and Black
Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words
by Nemiroff, Robert

After her untimely death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 34, Hansberry’s ex-husband Nemiroff compiled her unpublished writings to create TO BE YOUNG, GIFTED, AND BLACK, a dramatization of her life. The successful stage play formed the basis of this autobiography.

Clybourne Park
[A Play]
Norris, Bruce

Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, this spin-off of A RAISIN IN THE SUN portrays the white family who sold their house to the Youngers in 1959, and 50 years on. This play is the second installment in what playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah has referred to as “The Raisin Cycle.”

The Warmth of Other Suns
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Wilkerson, Isabel

The Great Migration of African Americans from the Deep South to Northern industrial cities like Chicago helped create predominantly black neighborhoods like the Youngers’ in A RAISIN IN THE SUN. In a beautifully crafted, sweeping history, Wilkerson documents this massive demographic shift and its myriad impacts through the personal journeys of three individuals.

Fences
A Play
Wilson, August

Local playwright August Wilson examined many aspects of African American life in his work. As Hansberry did in A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Wilson deftly explores how racial discrimination complicates family dynamics in this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. A forthcoming film starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis is expected to open in theaters December 25th.

DVDs

A Raisin in the Sun - 1999

This 1961 film version of the play featured the cast of the original 1959 Broadway production, including Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee.

A Raisin in the Sun - 2008

This 2008 made-for-TV film version featured the cast of the 2004 Broadway revival, including Sean Combs and Audra McDonald.