What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
This poem written by Langston Hughes served as the inspiration for the title of the award winning play A Raisin In The Sun by lesbian playwright Lorraine Hansberry .
A Raisin in the Sun portrays a few weeks in the life of the Youngers, an African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. When the play opens, the Youngers are about to receive an insurance check for $10,000.
This money comes from the deceased Mr. Younger’s life insurance policy. Each of the adult members of the family has an idea as to what he or she would like to do with this money. The matriarch of the family, Mama, wants to buy a house to fulfill a dream she shared with her husband. Mama’s son, Walter Lee, would rather use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends. He believes that the investment will solve the family’s financial problems forever.
Last week I had the pleasure of seeing this production live on the campus of Alabama State University . This show holds a special place in my heart for 2 reasons. As a 12 year old I won my very first professional job playing the role of Travis Younger in this show at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival . Years later my 12 year old cousin Howard was given the opportunity to play the same role I performed 13 years ago. Talk about coming full circle.
The talent in the show was amazing. Very few people know about the talent that exists in the south. It's very common to search New York and L.A. for undiscovered talent, but I must admit that the south is a hub for raw talent.
Being apart of "Raisin" again after 13 years was an amazing experience. This was the beginning of my life as an artist. If you have not seen the film adaptation starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, and Claudia McNeil, run to your nearest Blockbuster and rent it. It's a piece of our black history that changed American theater forever.