This week on From the Vault, we celebrate the birthday of one of America's most gifted playwrights, Lorraine Hansberry. At the age of 28, Hansberry became the youngest playwright (and first black dramatist) to win the 1958-1959 New York Drama Circle Critics Award for her play, A Raisin in the Sun; a year or so after winning the award, Hansberry paid a visit to Pacifica Radio WBAI in New York with fellow writing legends Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Alfred Kazin and Emile Capouya. What transpired was an outstanding panel discussion on Black perceptions of the American setting in art, mainly literature and drama - and the historic Pacifica Radio recording, The Negro in American Culture.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.