In the rich tapestry of American theater history, there are certain groundbreaking moments that have left an indelible mark. One such moment occurred in 1959 when Lorraine Hansberry shattered barriers and made history as the first Black author to have a play produced on Broadway. Her iconic work, “A Raisin in the Sun,” not only brought African American stories to the forefront but also sparked a new era of representation and social commentary in the theater world.

The Story Unfolds

Lorraine Hansberry, born in Chicago in 1930, was an immensely talented writer and activist. Drawing from her personal experiences growing up in a racially segregated society, she crafted a play that would resonate with audiences far beyond the confines of a theater. “A Raisin in the Sun” explores the dreams, struggles, and aspirations of the Younger family, an African American household living in the racially charged landscape of 1950s Chicago.

The Impact

When “A Raisin in the Sun” premiered on Broadway on March 11, 1959, it not only captivated audiences but also made a profound impact on American theater. Hansberry’s powerful storytelling and her unflinching portrayal of racial and social injustice struck a chord with theatergoers of all backgrounds. The play delved into themes of identity, family, discrimination, and the pursuit of the American Dream, touching upon universal human experiences while addressing the specific struggles faced by Black Americans.

Breaking Down Barriers

Hansberry’s achievement of having her play produced on Broadway was a groundbreaking moment for Black representation in theater. It was a significant step forward in challenging the racial barriers that had long limited opportunities for Black artists. Her success opened doors for future generations of African American playwrights, actors, and creatives, providing them with the visibility and recognition they deserved.

The Legacy

The impact of “A Raisin in the Sun” continues to reverberate throughout the theater world and beyond. The play received critical acclaim, winning the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, and has since become a staple of American literature. Its powerful themes and poignant social commentary remain relevant today, reminding us of the enduring power of theater as a vehicle for social change.

Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking achievement as the first Black author to have a play on Broadway forever altered the landscape of American theater. Through “A Raisin in the Sun,” she fearlessly brought the struggles and dreams of Black Americans to the forefront, challenging societal norms and inspiring future generations. Her legacy serves as a testament to the transformative power of storytelling and the importance of representation in the arts. As we celebrate her historic achievement, let us remember Lorraine Hansberry as a trailblazer who paved the way for a more inclusive and diverse theatrical landscape.

Jennifer McLeggan, a single mom and registered nurse, has been facing harassment and threats from her neighbors since she moved into her home in Valley Stream on Long Island in New York. She says she has done everything in her power to be a good neighbor and believes she has been targeted because she is Black.

McLeggan has taken video of a man throwing feces and dead squirrels into her yard, and she says that he threatened her, saying she can “be erased,” according to ABC 7She has put up a detailed sign that covers her entire front door and details the harassment in case anything should happen to her.

“My neighbors have been racially harassing me since I purchased my home,” the sign reads. After detailing the things they’ve done, like wandering around in her yard with guns, spitting on her property, and threatening to “get rid” of her and her cameras, McLeggan writes, “The police have said I need to be harmed for them to make an arrest. I live in FEAR for my life at home.”

McLeggan has lived in the home for over two years. Since the beginning, her white neighbors have made it clear to her that she is not welcome in the neighborhood. She admits the property was in “bad shape” when she bought it, but she’s worked hard to clean it up and keep it clean.

But she kept noticing dog feces and ticket ordinances on her property. So, she installed a camera. “I caught my neighbor throwing dog feces in front of my property,” she said. “I took that video to court, and I won a judgment.”

But the harassment hasn’t stopped. So she made the sign in front of her house, and her other neighbors have gathered around her to make sure she isn’t driven out of the neighborhood.

“In case something happens to me here, then somebody would know I’m in the house with a baby,” she said. “If I die in here, at least cops would see the sign.”

Although some neighbors have rallied around her, the police haven’t been able to do much. To make sure McLeggan’s voice is heard and her mistreatment doesn’t go unnoticed, there’s now an Instagram account, @standwithjennifer, to document what’s going on and organize in order to keep her safe.

There  was a peaceful protest scheduled in Valley Stream for Thursday, July 16 in support of Jennifer McLeggan and others like her. Erica Coreas said she was also harassed when she first moved to the neighborhood, though not to the same extent.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement, “Nassau County will not tolerate any resident being harassed or intimidated because of who they are or what they look like. We take these allegations seriously, and Nassau County PD is conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.”

Mona Scott-Young is one of cable television’s most sought after executives. She is the CEO of multi-media entertainment company Monami Entertainment, which is best known for creating and producing VH1’s most popular docu-franchise Love & Hip Hop.

Mona herself created the original franchise of Love & Hip Hop: New York, which premiered in 2011. It’s remarkable success has resulted in several spin-offs based in Atlanta, Hollywood, and Miami. Averaging about 5.5 million viewers per episode, the franchise series is reportedly worth an estimated $100 million.

A rival of Real Housewives, the series follows the personal lives of former and current hip-hop stars. Artists that have appeared on the show with their families include Cardi B., Waka Flocka, Remy Ma, Papoose, Cam’ron, Soulja Boy, Ray J, Lil Scrappy, Joe Budden, and more.

How she did it

51-year old Mona says her secret is in the power of branding. According to USA Today, “Since the inception of her career, her drive has been to showcase the fullness of women in an entertainment industry that seldom shows them as multi-dimensional, powerful people.” She also never deviates from the purpose — the “why” — of her projects.

In addition, she emphasizes consistency. She feels that regularly putting good content out gives her higher credibility with her audience. After building credibility, the influence will come. And that is certainly true because nearly every hip-hop star wants to be on her show, especially those who are not as hot as they once were in their music careers.

Not just a TV exec

Mona does more than just produce hit television series. She also is in the music industry. In fact, USA Today reports that she has “an incredible track record in rap and hip-hop entertainment”. In the early 90’s and 2000’s, she co-founded Violater Entertainment and Violator Records, which successfully managed the careers of Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, LL Cool J, and more.

Most recently, Mona has authored a book entitled Blurred Lines, which was co-authored by New York Times best-selling author Courtney Parker. In addition, she owns a line of jewelry called “MPower Rings”, a clothing collection, and a fruit-infused wine beverage.

Source: Black Business

Iconic fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in what is said to be an apparent suicide Tuesday morning in her New York apartment.
According to CNN, the 55 year-old businesswoman whose body was found by her housekeeper, allegedly hung herself in her apartment leaving behind a suicide note.
The designer who was a senior fashion editor at the fashion magazine Mademoiselle, started Kate Spade New York in 1993, opening her first shop in the city three years later and has since then gone to be a household name.
Kate Spade New York issued an official statement on their Twitter confirming the death of their founder.f