Scope and arrangement
The Lorraine Hansberry Papers document Lorraine Hansberry's life as an award-winning playwright and activist, and chronicles her activities during the Civil Rights Movement. Virtually all of Hansberry's writings, autobiographical materials, journals, diaries, personal and professional correspondence are included here, as well as related materials generated by her late husband, Robert Nemiroff, and his third wife, Jewell Gresham-Nemiroff, as the executors of Hansberry's state. Significant correspondents include Daisy Bates, Louis Burnham, Julian Mayfield, Robert Nemiroff, and William Worthy.|||The largest and most substantive series, Writings, contains the bulk of Hansberry's play scripts, including "A Raisin in the Sun," "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window" and "Les Blancs," plus production files for each play, as well as other produced, unproduced and incomplete plays among them "Toussaint," "The Drinking Gourd," "What Use Are Flowers," and "Masters of the Dew." Included are lectures and speeches Hansberry gave primarily as the result of the success of "A Raisin in the Sun," articles she wrote as a journalist and editor, and files for the book, "The Movement: Documentary of a Struggle for Equality." There are also short stories, poems, and letters Hansberry penned from 1947 to 1964. The Professional series includes correspondence and materials relating to Hansberry's activism including files for Camp Unity, Labor Defense League, and the Montevideo Peace Conference. The Legacy series was largely created by Robert Nemiroff to acknowledge Hansberry's contribution to American letters, and features files detailing his activities as the executor of the Lorraine Hansberry Estate, including three major projects, "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," "Raisin," and "All The Dark and Beautiful Warriors." Also included are Hansberry's FBI file, diaries, interviews, and biographical information about Hansberry during her life and posthumously.