Raisin in the Sun

Dir: Daniel Petrie, 1961. Starring: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil. English. Black Cinema.
Raisin in the Sun

"What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"

Langston Hughes' opening lines to his poem "A Dream Deferred" inspires the title of the film, which is adapted from Lorraine Hansberry's 1951 Broadway play. The story is about the working-class African American family in Chicago, each member struggling against the idea of deferred dreams. The way each character has to fight against generational prejudice to achieve their dreams makes a most powerful, touching story, as deep to the core of African American history. And while I want to cry at the injustices that bind many to social despair, I am inspired by the moments of strength that the human spirit can possess.

Every character is a symbol that has to find what value they have to play out in order to gain a better life to confront oppression, identity, assimilation, poverty, and African-American racism. The most beautifully portrayed role goes to Claudia McNeil, who is the mother holding the family together like "a syrupy sweet."

Dreams deferred:  "Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?"

These questions are not simple in answer, but they are in a need to be explored.

Posted by:
Tiffany Huang
Feb 2, 2008 4:00pm
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