Lorraine Hansberry: Reimagining Biography

Lorraine Hansberry: Reimagining Biography: drawing by Hansberry with text below: March 22, 2018, Schomburg Center, NYC. Panel conversation with Margaret Wilkerson, Imani Perry, Soyica Colbert, Tracy Heather Strain. Moderated by Joy-Ann Reid.

Lorraine Hansberry: Reimagining Biography

Co-presented by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Lorraine Hansberry Literary Trust


Thursday, March 22, 2018
Panel Discussion 6:30–8:00pm
Public Reception 8:00–9:00pm

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd (135th St and Malcolm X Blvd), New York, NY, 10037

This is a free event but as space is limited, please RSVP here.

Seat reservations begin on Thursday March 8, 2018!

The panel Lorraine Hansberry: Reimagining Biography marks the concurrence of the world-premiere of the AMERICAN MASTERS documentary on Lorraine Hansberry, Sighted Eyes|Feeling Heart (PBS), with the upcoming publication of three biographical treatments of the artist, activist, and public intellectual. Each treatment varies in how it shapes biographical content and format, from the use of a linear history focused on her individual development and accomplishments versus the multilateral formations that broadly illustrate the intersecting social contexts of her lifetime. The panel will be asked to address the feminisms, intersectionalities, political, and private-public voicings that steer how Hansberry consciously engages in her life. These identities and choices make her capture, within biographical form, quite challenging. Panelists will be asked to address what they are learning in this process.

Panelists: Margaret Wilkerson (author of the forthcoming Lorraine Hansberry: Am I a Revolutionary? and Professor Emerita of African Diaspora Studies and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley); Imani Perry (author of the forthcoming Looking for Lorraine: A Life of Lorraine Hansberry and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University); Soyica Colbert (author of the forthcoming Lorraine Hansberry: Artist/Activist and professor of African American Studies and Theater & Performance Studies at Georgetown University); and Tracy Heather Strain (director of the documentary Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes|Feeling Heart; PBS national broadcast, January 2018.)

Joi Gresham, executive director of the Lorraine Hansberry Literary Trust, will introduce the panel with background information on the Hansberry archives and on Hansberry biographies to date. The panel will be moderated by Joy-Ann Reid (national correspondent, MSNBC).


This is a free event but as space is limited, please RSVP here.

Image Information: 

Pen & ink drawing on newspaper by Lorraine Hansberry. In 1948, Lorraine enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she took art classes. During the summer of 1949 she studied painting at the University of Guadalajara art workshop in Ajijic, Mexico and during the summer of 1950 she studied art at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.

Thursday, March 8, 2018