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Lorraine Hansberry (May 19, 1930 - January 12, 1965) was an American playwright and litigant in the United States Supreme Court case, Hansberry v. Lee.

Hansberry attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked on the staff of Freedom magazine. It was at that time she wrote A Raisin in the Sun. The play was a huge success. It was the first play written by an African-American woman and produced on Broadway. It also received the New York Drama Critics Award making Hansberry the youngest and first African American to receive the Award.

After her success with A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry became the foremother of African-American drama. She also contributed to the understanding of abortions, discrimination, and Africa. In San Francisco, The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, which specializes in original stagings and revivals of African-American theatre, is named in honor of her. Singer and pianist Nina Simone, who was a close friend of Hansberry, used the title of her unfinished play to write a civil rights-themed song "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" together with Weldon Irvine. The single reached the top 10 of the R&B charts. A studio recording by Simone was released as a single and the first live recording on October 26, 1969 was captured on Black Gold (1970).

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